When it's this hot out, we look for recipes that require little to no time in front of the stove, like this Chilled Melon Soup. John Besh has been known for his love of local ingredients since his days as chef at Artesia, a charming Northshore bed-and-breakfast with an intimate, elegant dining room. During that time, Besh was the guest chef at the Château de Montcaud, where he encountered the small melons from Cavillon that are often served halved and doused with Beaumes-de-Venise, a sweet dessert wine. Besh first served this chilled melon soup at a large outdoor jazz brunch that capped his inspiring visit to the South of France.
Peel, seed, and dice the melons into one-inch cubes. Purée melon cubes while slowly adding sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Strain purée through a fine sieve, then combine with wine. Chill for 1 hour. Serve cold, garnished with a spoonful of crème fraîche and a sprig of mint.
Contributed by Chef John Besh, Artesia
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