For the gazpacho:
2 medium cantaloupes (about 2 lbs. total), peeled, seeded, and cut into roughly 1-inch chunks
1 small sweet onion (about 4 oz.), minced
1 cucumber (about 4 oz.), peeled, seeded, and cut in small dice
1 rib celery, minced
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 cup water
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds
3 cloves garlic
1 slice toasted sourdough bread, chopped
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
6 sprigs mint, stems and leaves chopped, plus extra leaves for garnish
6 sprigs cilantro, stems and leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish
1/2-1 jalapeño, minced (to taste)
Toasted chopped almonds for garnish
For the Crab Salad:
8 oz. fresh jumbo lump blue crab meat
3 scallions, cut in slivers
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1/2 cup finely diced cantaloupe
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Season with a big pinch of kosher salt. Stir in the water. Fill another bowl with ice and water, place it on top to weigh down the mixture, and leave for 30 to 45 minutes.
Place the almonds and garlic in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat this process two more times.
Working in batches if necessary, combine the nuts and garlic with the melon mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Blend in the bread and vinegar. Blend in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Transfer the pureed mixture to a large bowl and add the herbs and jalapeño. Allow to steep for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Adjust the salt and lime juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
For the Crab Salad:
Gently combine all of the ingredients, keeping the crab in nice lumps. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.
To Serve: Divide the crab salad between four chilled bowls. Pour the soup around it. Garnish with a few leaves of cilantro and mint and perhaps some toasted almond and a drizzle of olive oil.
Chef’s Notes: “Allowing the melon mixture to sit while weighted with a bowl and ice water helps release some of the cantaloupe’s juices and takes some of the rawness from the onion. When straining the soup, press hard to extract as much flavor out of the herbs and jalapeño as possible.”