Our Recent Trip To Rome

My wife Janice has agreed to blog for us as well. We have been married for almost 30 years and she has been on this journey with me as my partner for all that time. She will be sharing her insights (hopefully a lot about food) with us as we go along. Janice is a great cook and is a big proponent of eating locally and seasonally. For more of her recipes, check out REVIVE where she did all the recipes.

We recently spent a couple of days in Rome en-route to visiting our family in South Africa. Instead of staying in a hotel, we decided to rent an apartment right near the Campo D’Fiori – the beautiful square that is home to a huge wonderful open food market. It was a daily feast for the eyes and the senses. Tables were piled high with the freshest seasonable fruits and vegetables – it was mouthwatering and we had to restrain ourselves from wanting to buy everything in sight. The colors were intense and glorious and the smell of the fruit heavenly. What a stimulus to cook and eat only the freshest that’s available. Supermarkets may be convenient but there is nothing like the abundance of a farmer’s market to make you want to get into the kitchen!

Being on holiday, I did not really want to cook so breakfasts became the opportunity to eat the sweetest small strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches and cherries and to savor the taste of the fresh picked produce.

After feasting our eyes on the sensuous melons, I was reminded of a delicious cantaloupe soup that I once had at Il Bucco – an amazing restaurant on Bond Street in NYC.

I have never been a big fan of fruit soups but it was so highly recommended by the waiter that I took his advice and it was truly incredible, sweet with a hint of spicy and so refreshing, perfect on a hot summer day.

Here is my interpretation…… enjoy

Recipe for Fresh Cantaloupe Soup

  • one ripe canteloupe melon – peeled and seeds removed
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves cut into ribbons

In a food processor, process the half the melon, olive oil, lime juice , salt and red pepper flakes till its completely smooth the other half of the melon should be processed till its fairly smooth but still a little chunky – those little chunks add a great texture to the soup. Mix well and garnish with basil ribbons. Serve chilled but not too cold.

Fortunately farmers’ markets here are starting to spring up everywhere giving us all an opportunity to not only eat local but to also support small farmers and to delight in the deliciousness of fresh picked produce.