Chilled melon and olive oil soup with 'nduja toast and oregano

Enjoying a chilled melon soup in a savoury context might sound strange at first, but if you've ever enjoyed slices of melon with Parma ham, you know it's a winning combo. Here, Steve Groves pairs the soup with rich, spicy 'nduja (a spreadable, fiery cured pork product originally from Calabria in Italy) slathered on crunchy toast. The oregano leaves and oil drizzled over the top adds a delightfully herbaceous top note which brings everything together.

First published in 2020
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Soup

  • 800g of cantaloupe melon, or honeymoon melon, very ripe
  • 6g of red chillies, chopped
  • 40ml of Chardonnay vinegar
  • 40ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100g of ice cubes

'Nduja toast

  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
  • 50ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 80g of 'nduja, soft

Oregano oil

  • 150ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g of oregano, leaves picked
  • 1/2 lemon, zested

Equipment

  • Blender

Method

1
Begin by making the oregano oil, ideally the day before. Set a few of the oregano leaves aside for garnishing the soup and toasts, then blitz all the ingredients together in a blender. If you have time, allow the mixture to infuse overnight, or leave it to infuse for as long as you can on the day. Strain the oil through a muslin cloth set over a bowl to get a clear oregano oil. This will make more than you need for this recipe but it will keep in the fridge for several weeks
  • 150ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g of oregano, leaves picked
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
2
To make the soup, remove any seeds or peel from the melon, then place in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blitz until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve and chill in the fridge until ready to serve
  • 800g of cantaloupe melon, or honeymoon melon, very ripe
  • 6g of red chillies, chopped
  • 40ml of Chardonnay vinegar
  • 40ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100g of ice cubes
3
For the toasts, place a griddle pan over a high heat. Drizzle the bread slices with the olive oil and toast the bread on both sides until crisp and lightly charred. Whilst the bread is still, hot, spread the ‘nduja over them and garnish with a few oregano leaves
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
  • 50ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 80g of 'nduja, soft
4
To serve, divide the soup between 4 bowls and finish with a drizzle of the oregano oil and a few oregano leaves. Serve alongside the ‘nduja toasts
First published in 2020
share recipe:

Rooted in classical technique, Steve Groves' impeccable dishes remind us all why French cooking has been the envy of the world for centuries.

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