When the summer weather starts heating up, it's a fine time to chill it down with a nice glass of Champagne and a tangy chilled summer soup. I usually make this recipe 3-5 times during the summer months because it's easy and tasty—the best kind of recipe. My blog (and diet) doesn't have a lot of vegetarian dishes, which is something I need to improve starting now with this one. Adding crab or bay shrimp at the end is up to you. Serve it as an appetizer or as a main dish—either way this is a healthy summer soup that can be made by throwing ingredients into a blender and chilling it into the refrigerator.
It usually doesn't take much arm twisting to get me to open a bottle of bubbles. Champagne (and many sparkling wines) have crisp acidity that matches up nicely with the flavors in the soup, but the texture of the bubbles and the salsa-like texture of the soup are where the fun happens.
- 3 OZ fresh basil - stems removed
- cucumber - 1 peeled and seeded
- small sweet onion - 1 peeled and chopped
- lime - juice from one
- half & half - 1/3 cup
- extra virgin olive oil - 1/2 cup
- garlic cloves - 3-4, chopped
- balsamic vinegar - 1-2 TBSP
- salt - to taste
- sour cream - for garnish
- crab meat - for garnish (optional)
To make the soup, remove seeds and rinds from honeydew and cucumber. Chop onion and combine all ingredients into blender or food processor. Blend or puree under liquid is chunky. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and fresh crab in the center of the bowl.
René Geoffroy NV Brut Premier - Grower Champagne with toasted almond, poached Bosc pear, fresh picked green granny smith apples and wet river rock minerality. Bubbles are standard sized, so the texture isn't as fine and creamy as top tier Champagne with small, creamy bubbles but that's okay because the soup is chunky. Together, it's like Brad and Angelina on your palate—a little class with a little sass. Geoffroy is pronounced "jeff-wah".
Collet Champagne Brut NV - Collet's grower Champagne (aka farmer fizz) is made up of a blend of Pinot Menuier and Chardonnay to give it that laser-like acidic spine bundled in a blanket of fatter fruity mouthfeel. What does that mean? Sounds like a bunch of wine mumbo-jumbo, doesn't it?
Chardonnay is often used in Methode Champenoise style wines to give it a ridiculously high level of acidity–the kind that feels like a light saber on your tongue. Pinot Menuier and Pinot Noir get invited to the party because they often fatten out the feeling of the Champagne. In this case, it's a happy union of both with Collet's non-vintage gem. Retail is around $40.
Marc Hebrart Champagne Sélection Brut Premier Cru NV - I hope you're sensing a theme here. Each bottle is under $50 and they're all grower Champagne's made by passionate people who farm their own land and produce their own wine. From the soil to the bottle, Marc Hebrart (or in this case, his son Jean-Paul) touches the wine every step of the way.
In the glass there was a light straw color with immediate impressions of doughnut dough right before it goes into the fryer. Smooth, creamy and medium bodied goodness showing off a more fruit forward profile of Gala apple, yellow plum, meyer lemon, nutmeg and Colorado honey all dancing across your palate like Dancing with the Stars. As with many good Champagne's there's a reward in the glass as the wine is both intellectually stimulating and have a chalky texture from the limestone soils.