Summer–even here in paradise–is just no time to heat up a kitchen with big heavy meals. I’m not in the mood to eat them when it’s hot, much less cook them. We’ve been pretty much subsisting on grilled something-or-other and lots of sliced fresh tomatoes sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

The something-or-other is sometimes chicken, sometimes salmon or other fish, but most often it’s beef–a big juicy Porterhouse or a garlic-studded tri-tip roast or a marinated flank steak. Sometimes we’ll toss some olive-oil-rubbed asparagus spears or baby yellow patty pan squash on the grill with the meat, but a hunk of flavorful meat and fresh ripe tomatoes are about all Mike needs on a dinner plate to be happy.

I, on the other hand, like a little more variety in the menu and I’m always poking through food magazines and the food sections of newpapers for a new twist on something to try.

On just such a poking occasion, I happened upon a recipe for a Chilled Melon Soup that sounded cool and tasty, though since it was made with a fair amount of orange juice, I thought it might be a little too carb heavy. So I decided to trim it a little, carb-wise, and put my own spin on it.

The result is a delicious, nutritious, not too carby summer-weight treat. Serve it before a meal of sliced hot or cold grilled chicken breast on a bed of spicy arugula or baby greens tossed with a simple vinaigrette and a handful of slivered almonds for a scrumptious light supper that will hit the spot any hot summer night.

Chilled Fruity Melon Soup

Serves 6

2 cups fresh watermelon, peeled and cubed

1 cup fresh ripe cantaloupe, peeled and diced to ½”

1 package (about 10 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed

½ cup plain yogurt

½ cup Sweet Orange Water (recipe follows—make ahead)

1 lime, juice only

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 bunch fresh mint, for garnish

To make the Sweet Orange Water

½ cup water

1 orange, for zest

1 sprig fresh mint

8 packets Splenda, Stevia (or equivalent non-calorie sweetener of choice)

1. Place ½ cup water in a small saucepan; add the zest of one large orange and the sweetener and bring to a boil.

2. Turn off the heat and let the mixture infuse and cool for half an hour at room temperature or place mixture into a container with a tight fitting lid and infuse overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to prepare the soup:

1. In a blender (working in batches if necessary) puree all ingredients, except the diced cantaloupe, until smooth and thick. (Add a bit of extra water, if needed, to achieve as thick but still soupy a consistency as you like.)

2. Refrigerate the soup for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours. Stir well before serving.

3. To serve, ladle soup into bowls, top with pieces of diced cantaloupe, and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Protein per serving: 1.7 grams

Effective carbohydrate per serving = 10 grams

Enjoy and keep cool!


  1. What do you mean by “add the zest of one large orange”? I did not see an orange in the recipe. Sorry if I am dense.

    Comment from MD Eades:  Under where it says “For the Sweet Orange Water”, which is a recipe in its own right, it says “1 orange, for zest” in the ingredients.  At least it does on my computer.

  2. What a great idea for getting the orange flavor without the carbs that are in orange juice. I’m going to try this trick with one of my favorite tonics–Orange Julius made with coconut milk, egg yolks, and orange juice (now Sweet Orange Water). Of course, I’ll have to dilute it more. The recipe calls for 2 cups of juice. But it’s worth a try.

    Comment from MD Eades:  You might also try using a can of diet Hansen’s Tangerine Lime soda or Diet RC Mandarin (I think it is) soda and letting them go flat first.  Then you’d have the volume you’re after.  You could still add some of the orange zest or sweet orange water to really brighten the oranginess of the flavor.  I’ll have to try making one for Mike; he was a real Orange Julius junkie in his younger days.

  3. I was thrilled to see a diversion. Lee and I have low carbed for years and I fell off b/c he was truly ok with just the meat. I laughed out loud when I read the MRE would be ok with a hunk of meat and sliced tomatoes…somehow I need something else, occasionally. Thanks, can’t wait to try it.

    Comment from MD Eades:  You’re welcome.  Enjoy.

  4. Dr. Eades,
    This recipe looks delicious, but as Thanksgiving draws near, I was wondering if you had any other ideas about what to do with pumpkin? Sure, I’ve seen lots of recipes for pumpkin pie, but do you have any tricks or magic up your sleeve?
    I’m already trying to think of how I can substitute that wonderfully carby dish, sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, with a squash like pumpkin or something?

    Yeah, I know–I’m a foodie on the loose!
    But I credit both you and your wonderful husband for not only re-teaching me how to eat properly, but for probably adding years to my life (and good, disability-free years too, God willing) and for continuing via your blogs to keep me and others up to date on the latest in healthy eating.

    Now…regarding the pumpkin…
    Adam Wilk

    Comment from MD Eades:  There’s a good recipe for a mock sweet potato casserole in our Low Carb CookwoRx cookbook that we make using with butternut squash.  Pumpkin would work just as well and might even be a little lower in carb than butternut squash.  Or at least in the same carb ball park.  Basically, you just sub the squash for the sweet potatoes and spice it just the way you like it.  You can purchase low carb marshmallows to top it with, but they don’t exactly get that brown and slightly crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle quality that the Sta-Puft man brings to the table.  Instead, you might like to top it with a sweet nut crumble topping made with butter, chopped nuts, Splenda, a bit of ThickenThin not/Sugar, and a dash of salt.  Maybe even a touch or erythritol as well as–or instead of–Splenda.

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