Thai Three-Melon Soup
Wandering outside the walls of the Imperial Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, Judy and I happened upon vendors offering a revitalizing melon drink to the overheated tourists. We loved it, and adapted it into a beautiful, coral-colored soup that we serve icy-cold topped with chilled chopped poached shrimp and a splash of Thai fish sauce.
Pickled ginger is a widely used Asian condiment that is readily available in Asian markets and some specialty food stores. Many of our recipes call for pickled ginger juice, meaning the liquid that the ginger is packed in. It adds sparkle, life, and a jolt of flavor to soups, sauces, dressings, vinaigrettes, and relishes.
- 2 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce, available in Asian markets and specialty food stores)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, for garnish
- 18 chilled, poached, peeled and deveined large shrimp
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped pickled ginger
- 2 pounds wa
- 1. Combine the melons and pickled ginger in a food processor or blender and process until liquefied, about 1 minute (depending on the size of your food processor you may need to puree the melon in batches).
2. Pour the puree into a nonreactive bowl and stir in the lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour.
3. To serve, divide the soup among 6 icy-cold bowls or plates. Top each serving with 3 shrimp, a sprinkle of the herbs, and a splash of nam pla.
Other Ways To Do It This soup makes an exotic dessert if topped with a scoop of Orange-Ginger Sorbet instead of the shrimp and herbs. Or freeze it in a large shallow pan and scrape frozen soup into bowls for a refreshing granita.
Recipe from the White Dog Cafe Cookbook
Multicultural Recipes and Tales of Adventures from Philadelphia's Revolutionary Restaurant
by Judy Wicks and Kevin von Klause
(Running Press Book Publishers; March 1998; $16.95/paperback; $24.95/hardcover)