Honeydew Melon Gazpacho with Mint Chèvre Pesto

 This Gazpacho has just the right balance of salty, spicy and sweetness.  The Mint Chèvre Pesto adds such a great touch and enhances the flavor of the soup.

Honeydew-Gazpacho-with-Mint-Chèvre-Pesto

 I love this soup on a hot sunny day!  We have been having a lot of really nice days lately, so I thought it was the perfect time to make a chilled soup.  I prefer to leave the seeds in the jalapeño, the heat adds a nice contrast to this slightly sweet chilled soup.

Honeydew-Melon-Gazpacho-with-Mint-Chèvre-Pesto

This soup goes great with a sparkling wine, like a Cave, Prosecco, Txakoli or Champagne.  It also goes with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or with Ang’s  Kiwi Honeydew Sangria.

Honeydew-Gazpacho-with-Mint-Pesto

Recipe: 4 – 6 Servings

Mint Chèvre Pesto (for full batch click here)

  • 1/4 Cups Fresh Mint
  • 1 Tablespoon Chèvre Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Almonds
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Clove Garlic – minced
  • Pinch Sea Salt

Soup

  • 2 Shallots or a 1/4 cup
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Honeydew Melon (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 Large or 2 Small Cucumber (2 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Tarragon
  • 1Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed lemon Juice
  • 1 Jalapeño

Instructions:

Make the Mint Chevre Pesto

Mince and saute shallots and garlic with the olive oil on medium-low heat until the onions are translucent and the garlic has started to brown. Add the wine and reduce to a syrup and set aside to cool

Cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds and scoop out the flesh.  Measure and add the flesh to the food processor

Peel the cucumber, scoop out the seeds and cut into 1 inch chunks. Measure and add to the food processor

Pick the leaves off the tarragon sprigs, cut the stem off the jalapeno, cut into 1 inch chunks  (remove the seeds If you don’t want it too spicy). Measure and add to the food processor

Add the lemon juice and puree the soup until smooth

 Drizzle the pesto over the finished soup (I add about 1 teaspoon per cup of soup)

Serve chilled or at room temperature

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Creamy White Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pesto Soup

This is a comforting and extremely flavorful soup, the white beans give this soup it’s  heartiness and the sun-dried tomato basil pesto gives it a rich flavor.

Creamy-White-Bean-and-Sun-Dried-Tomato-Basil-Pesto-Soup

Here is another recipe that I made up due to the fact that I always have too much pesto in the refrigerator.  Hummm, I wonder why, lol!

Creamy-White-Bean-Sun-Dried-Tomato-Basil-Pesto-Soup

Recipe:  Approx. 10 – 12 servings

  • 3 Cups Dried White Beans
  • 12 + 8 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 5 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Vegetable Bullion Cube
  • 1 Recipe Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pesto
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt (Greek is much creamier than regular yogurt) or Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions:

Measure the white beans and sort thru to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain

Add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil on med-high heat, continue boiling until beans are soft adding the other 8 cups of water as the beans soak it up (make sure and keep an eye on them)

Make the pesto (I often make this the day before) make sure to puree really well

Dice the onion and mince the garlic, put them into a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat on med-low heat

Saute until really soft and the garlic is beginning to become golden then add the wine and bullion cube, smash the bullion well and saute until syrupy.

Take some of the bean water and mix it with the yogurt or sour cream otherwise it wont dissolve very well

When the beans are cooked add the onion mix, pesto, yogurt or sour cream and spices

Health Benefits:

White Beans are a super source of dietary fiber, which is good for the prevention of constipation, also helps digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. They are great for heart health because of their significant amounts of folate (support of red blood cell formation, one cup of the cooked beans provides 63.7% of the recommended daily intake for folate) and magnesium (lowers blood pressure). They are good for helping insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, and help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady energy.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes are very high in anti-oxidants; just one cup has 23 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and 16 percent of vitamin A.  The Vitamin C in dried tomatoes helps your body absorb the high iron content as well. They are high in potassium which helps prevent and lower high blood pressure. These tomatoes are very high in dietary fiber compared to raw tomatoes.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zea-xanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.

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Butternut Squash Soup Topped with Cilantro Coconut Gouda Pesto

This is a unique take on a butternut squash soup with the cilantro coconut gouda pesto.  I made the soup a savory style instead of the classic slightly sweet style.

Butternut-Squash-Soup-Topped-with-Cilantro-Coconut-Gouda-Pesto

Butternut-Squash-Soup-and-Cilantro-Coconut-Gouda-Pesto

Recipe - Serves approx. 6 – 8 servings

  • Cilantro Coconut Gouda Pesto
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Unsalted Vegetable Bullion Cubes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter (optional)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions:

Start by making the Cilantro Coconut Gouda Pesto (you can do this the day before if you want)

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut off the stem and the bottom of the squash and peel with a peeler.  Cut in half and scoop out the seeds then cut in to approx. 1 inch chunks and put in to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of each olive oil and wine.  Toss together coating the squash

Put the squash on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes then move to top rack for 10 minutes

While the squash is baking, dice the onion and mince the garlic  (or use a garlic press)

Saute the onions, the garlic and olive oil.  Heat on med heat until onions are soft

Add the wine and bullion cubes the stir until wine is reduced and set aside

When the squash is done let cool then puree in a food processor or blender with the onions

Transfer to a soup pot and add the remaining ingredients and cook until hot.

Mix a 1/2 a teaspoon of pesto with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil per cup of soup (or more if you like) and drizzle on top and sprinkle with paprika

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Yellow Moong Dal Soup

 Yellow Moong Dal soup is a staple in India made from a yellow split lentils with very limited spices.  It is not only really tasty but super nutritious!

Moong-Dahl-Soup

Dahl-Soup

Recipe - 8 – 10 Servings

  • 3 Cups Yellow Moong Dal ( Yellow Split Lentils )
  • 14 Cups Filtered Water
  • 4 Large Tomatoes
  • 1 White Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive OIl
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 3 Vegetable Bullion Cubes Unsalted
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Inch Ginger
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 – 3 Serrano Chilies
  • 2 Tablespoons Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons Sea Salt or to taste
  • Cilantro (Optional)

Instructions:

 Soak the dal for a 1/2 hour in 12 cups of water

While the dal is soaking, dice the onion, mince the garlic (or use a garlic press) grate the ginger and mince the serrano peppers and set aside

In a saute pan on med heat add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds stir until a bit of popping or fragrant

Next add the onion, the garlic and olive oil.  Heat on med heat until onions are soft

Add to the onions the wine, bullion cubes, and ginger.  Stir until wine is reduced and set aside

Core the tomatoes and cut in half then with the cut side grate on a cheese grater and discard the skins

When the dal is ready to cook add the turmeric, tomato and chili and bring to a boil then immediately turn down to medium heat and cook the dal for 20 – 30 minutes or until soft

Add 2 more cups of water to the onions to get all the flavors from the pan and add to the dal

Add the lemon juice and cook for a few more minutes to incorporate flavors

I puree this soup but you can leave it if you like more texture

Garnish with chopped cilantro (optional)

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