Cool White Winter Melon Soup with Herbal Swirls

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

For a completely different take on soup than the preceding recipe, coconut puree freshened with winter melon makes an intriguing first course. The base derives from a recipe of Julie Sahni’s in Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking. But while Sahni’s is fiery, this is subdued, with only ginger and pepper for snap. Herbs liquefied with yogurt give bright color and flavor.


  • 2-pound wedge winter melon
  • cups water
  • About tablespoons sugar
  • About teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup (unsweetened) dried coconut shreds
  • 2-inch ginger chunk, peeled and sliced
  • About ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • cups yogurt (preferably whole milk)
  • cup tightly packed cilantro (coriander) leaves
  • cup tightly packed mint leaves
  • About 3 tablespoons lime juice


    1. Peel winter melon. Scrape out seeds and pith. Cut into ⅛-inch-thick 1-inch squares. Combine in heavy pot with water, tablespoons sugar, and teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until melon is tender and translucent, 3 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat.
    2. Transfer half the liquid and half the melon to a food processor. Add coconut, ginger, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Whiz to a fine puree. Return to pot.
    3. Cook over low heat until soup simmers, about 5 minutes. Whisk in half the yogurt. Remove from heat. Cool, then chill.
    4. Taste chilled soup. Season assertively with lime juice, salt, sugar, and pepper. Combine remaining yogurt, cilantro, mint, and a pinch of salt in blender or processor. Whirl to a fine puree.
    5. To serve, ladle into six bowls. Drizzle swirls of the green puree over the soup.