Food & Drink

This dessert could be cooler than ice cream on a hot day

Here’s a creamy, sweet, chilled dessert that’s arguably more refreshing - and better for you - on a hot summer’s day than a bowl of ice cream.

This cool melon soup makes the most of juicy cantaloupe or honeydew by blending it with lime juice, coconut milk and a touch of honey, all of which provide subtle layers of flavor and add creaminess; when you use honeydew, the soup becomes a stunning, pale celadon color.

After chilling thoroughly in the refrigerator, the soup is served elegantly in bowls with a small scoop of coconut sorbet and a shower of fresh mint. It definitely tastes like dessert, but one that is exceptionally quenching because it is lighter than it is than rich. I don’t mean to imply you need to forgo the occasional ice cream this summer - it’s just that once you have tried this dish, you might find yourself craving it instead.

l Ellie Krieger is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author who hosts public television’s “Ellie’s Real Good Food.”

Coconut Melon Soup

4 to 5 servings (makes about 4 cups)

Here, juicy melon is blended with honey, lime juice and coconut milk then chilled and served elegantly with a small scoop of coconut sorbet and a shower of fresh mint. It makes a refreshing dessert on a hot summer’s day.

MAKE AHEAD: The soup needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days before serving.

5 cups packed cantaloupe or honeydew chunks (from a 3 1/2-pound melon, peeled and seeded)

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup unsweetened light (low-fat) coconut milk

1/2 cup store-bought coconut sorbet

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, for garnish

Combine the melon, honey and lime juice in a food processor; puree until smooth. Add the coconut milk and pulse to incorporate. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.

To serve, ladle the soup into individual shallow bowls. Place a scoop of sorbet at the center of each portion, then top with the chopped mint.

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Nutrition | Per serving (based on 5): 120 calories, 2 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 35 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 19 g sugar

Source: Adapted from food nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

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