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Chilled Melon Soup
from the summer kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

1 medium sized ripe melon , preferably galia or cantaloupe
¾ cup  white wine
1-2 tablespoons ginger, freshly grated 
1 tablespoon  sugar
½ cup water
½ cup double cream
3 mint leaves
Several fresh pineapple mint leaves (for garnish)
4 slices good quality prosciutto (Parma or San Daniele), freshly  sliced

Remove seeds from the melon, then scoop melon out of the skin and
dice.  Place into a food processor with the 3 mint leaves and purée.

Place the wine, sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. 
Remove from burner and cool.  Add the ginger and the pureed melon.
Pass through a sieve or mouli.  Add the double cream and stir to mingle
flavours.  Keep well chilled.

Just before serving, tear the sheets of prosciutto into bite-sized pieces.
Roll the mint leaves into a flute shape and slice crosswise, very finely.

Into chilled soup bowls, pour one cup of the puree. Lightly scatter pieces of
the prosciutto atop, then  gently add a mound of the mint curls  in the center.

Serve immediately.

The measures are approximate and depend upon the size and juiciness of the
melon.  Don’t be afraid to taste, test, and adjust flavourings as needed.
Mint comes in a variety of flavours.  I grow my own pineapple mint, apple mint,
liquorish mint,  and chocolate mint, as wel as the traditional English, spearmint
and peppermint.  Pineapple mint (Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata') is a cultivar
of apple mint

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