Watermelon blueberry soup

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8
Watermelon blueberry soup

Combine the sugar, water, white wine and lemongrass in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and gently simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep for at least 1 hour. Strain and set aside.


In a blender, combine the watermelon, peach, cantaloupe and half of the blueberries. Puree until smooth. Strain the mixture through a chinois or fine sieve (if you have a juicer, you can use it instead of a blender and skip this step because a juicer will strain the fruit.) Add the orange juice and some of the lemongrass simple syrup to taste, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Chill the mixture.


Just before serving, cut the remaining blueberries in half and place in a small bowl. Add the mint, ground cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of Cointreau. Stir gently and divide among 8 demitasse cups.


To the watermelon mixture, stir in 1 1/4 teaspoons Cointreau, the Champagne and club soda. Divide the mixture among the cups, pouring over the blueberries. Serve immediately.

From chef Alan Ashkinaze of Aqua at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort. He serves this as an amuse, but it also makes a terrific cocktail or even dessert.

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