(POSTED: May 5, 2005)

Cool Cantaloupe Soup with Basil Cream

 1 cantaloupe (2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves (about 2 sprigs)
 1/8 teaspoon salt
 1 cup heavy cream
 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
 3/4 cup champagne

Make the soup: Place the cantaloupe, lemon juice, and zest in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the mint leaves and salt and pulse to combine. Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

2. Make the basil cream: Place the cream and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until slightly thickened. Add the basil and process until thick -- about 20 seconds -- and set aside. Add the champagne to the soup right before serving. Divide evenly among four bowls and top with the cream.

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