Everything here is about the perfume: the sweet wine, the melon, the figs in brandy.
The soup takes about 35 minutes to prepare and needs 2 hours to chill, or up to overnight. If you use fresh figs, macerate them, uncooked, in brandy for about 1 hour; or heat them with the brandy for no more than 5 minutes and let cool, uncovered.
Servings: 4 - 5
Yield: Makes 4 to 5 cups
- 1 small (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) honeydew melon, quartered, seeded, rind removed, and cut into small cubes
- 8 basil leaves
- Juice of 1 large lime (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 cup sweet white wine, such as Moscato d’Asti
- 4 dried turkish figs, quartered
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 4 thin prosciutto slices
Puree the melon, basil and lime juice in a blender or a food processor until smooth; stop to scrape down the sides as necessary (you may have to work in batches). Transfer to a large bowl and add the wine, stirring to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. (The soup may separate a bit in storage; whisk to reincorporate.)
Heat the dried figs and brandy in a small saucepan over medium heat until the brandy begins to bubble. Cover and remove from the heat; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or until the figs have softened.
Meanwhile, in a large, dry skillet over medium heat, cook the prosciutto slices for about 3 minutes, turning them once or twice, until the slices start to brown and become crisp. Transfer the slices to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.
To serve, drain the figs, discarding the liquid. Divide the soup among shallow individual bowls. Garnish each with the fig quarters and prosciutto pieces.
Adapted from cookbook authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.
Tested by Leslie A. Garcia.
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