If You're Tired Of Fresh Cantaloupe Try Alex Guarnaschelli's Suggestion

Cantaloupe epitomizes summer for many people, with its round shape and orange flesh mirroring the sun and bursting with juicy sweetness. Though not as popular as other summer sweethearts such as watermelon and peaches, cantaloupe deserves a spot on summer menus throughout its peak season, which runs from June through August, per Whole Foods Market

Cantaloupe holds its own amongst vitamin-packed summer fruits. Hailing from the Cucurbitaceae family of gourd plants with surmised origins in Africa, according to WebMD, the cantaloupe is a champion of heart health. Chockfull of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, it can help lower blood pressure and decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). It also carries health-enhancing antioxidants, which can relieve asthma symptoms and enhance skin and eye health. Healthline adds that it's super-rich in beta-carotene and, since it's almost 90% water, it keeps you hydrated.

You likely won't see cantaloupe in fruit pies and tarts, but that doesn't mean it's relegated to the chilled fruit-cup category. In fact, if you're ready to try something other than fresh-cut cantaloupe chunks or balls, chef Alex Guarnaschelli has a surprise for you.

Refreshing cantaloupe recipe from chef Alex Guarnaschelli

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli takes the culinary spotlight as a Food Network star, "Chopped" series judge, "Iron Chef" winner, and the executive chef of Butter Restaurants in New York City, according to her Food Network profile. Butter Restaurant notes that she specializes in creating seasonal menus featuring greenmarket ingredients — which falls right in line with her less-than-mainstream summer recipe: cantaloupe soup.

In addition to being served cold, the refreshing cantaloupe soup featured on the Food Network website holds a perky punch of ingredients pureed into a smooth bowl of goodness. The recipe has you gathering up sliced cantaloupe, juiced lemons, and nonalcoholic sparkling cider, mixed with optional sugar and water to taste. After pureeing, chilling in an ice bath, and refrigerating until table-time, the next surprise is cucumbers. Seasoned with salt and pepper, chubby little chunks of cucumber get plopped into the chilled cantaloupe soup, creating a bit of texture for the grand finale.

It's not the only cantaloupe soup around, but any recipe from chef Guarnaschelli is worth a time-and-tastebud investment for summer mealtimes.