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Thanksgiving Fruity Appetizer

This crunchy cantaloupe soup is a year-round favorite. Although tastier in summer, cantaloupe is made available to us in supermarkets in all seasons and here is a delicious unique way to enjoy it. The rich, warm colors of this healthy “soup” make it an especially desirable candidate as a light appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner.

The recipe also calls for figs. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to find them fresh at this time of year. Don’t be shy to use dried figs instead. Soaked in warm water for about 2 hours, they’ll taste wonderfully sweet and will deliver their nutritional punch just as effectively. Just make sure you buy them organic and sulfite-free, as commercially grown dried figs may be treated with sulfur dioxide gas during processing.

Finally, this recipe is inspired by the Southern-European tradition of combining melon with dry-cured ham. A delicious vegetarian alternative is to substitute shavings of aged Parmesan.


Serves 3-4


1 medium cantaloupe or ˝ a big one (seeded, peeled and diced)

2 small sliced cucumbers or 1 medium one (washed and sliced; peeled if non-organic or if you want to preserve the warm tone of the dish)

1-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced)

juice of ˝ lemon (or to taste)

leaves of 4-5 twigs of fresh mint (washed)

4 figs — Black Mission figs are fleshier and are usually recommended in recipes but any kind will do (wash them if fresh; soak them in warm water for 2 hours if dried)

pumpkin seeds

4 thin slices of dry-cured ham (Prosciutto-style), each shredded into 3-4 pieces / vegetarian alternative: aged Parmesan shavings


1/ Crumple the pieces of dry-cured ham on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Put them in the oven at lowest temperature until crispy (about 20 minutes).

2/ Blend the cantaloupe into a smooth puree.

3/ Add to it cucumber(s) + ginger + lemon juice. Blend.

4/ Chop mint leaves and stir into the mixture. Blend for 1-2 seconds.

5/ Slice the figs delicately (a serrated knife makes it easier)

6/  Pour the “soup” into 3 or 4 bowls, sprinkle with figs, crispy ham or Parmesan shavings, pumpkin seeds.

Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Blogs, Eating for Health, Food, Soups & Salads, Thanksgiving, The Green Plate, Videos, Videos, , , ,

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Laetitia Mailhes

Laetitia Mailhes is a French-born journalist. After many years as the technology and innovation correspondent of the French "Financial Times" in San Francisco, she decided to focus on what truly matters to her: sustainable food and farming. Find more articles and videos on her blog, The Green Plate Blog.


+ add your own
12:43AM PST on Nov 8, 2014

Thank you!

10:25PM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

Yummy! Thanks.

6:50AM PST on Dec 24, 2010

This sound interesting I never thought of making soup out of Cantaloupe (we call it Rock Melon in Aust) will have to try this it sound yummy and I love Rock Melons.

11:40AM PST on Nov 30, 2010

An interesting way to use the cantelope. I wonder if this would work with pumpkin?

2:46AM PST on Nov 27, 2010

(Almost) none of the products are local to me, so I'll pass this time. But thanks anyway!

1:02PM PST on Nov 25, 2010

All I can think about is how far many of these ingredients must have traveled to get to me, especially at this time of year. No thanks!

7:38AM PST on Nov 25, 2010


11:44PM PST on Nov 24, 2010

Interesting. thanx

11:44PM PST on Nov 24, 2010

very good advices for thanks giving!! unfortunately we dont celebrate this holiday in my country!! Thanx anyway!

11:39PM PST on Nov 24, 2010

Most of your list could likely be seduced with "Hey I pulled this muscle, could you rub it for me?" Coulter is solar water heater frigid and mean. Nothing sexy about a malfunctioning Fridgidaire.

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