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Farmers' Market Walk + Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Preserved Lemon-Herb Salsa #FoodieExtravaganza

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month.

Posting day for #FoodieExtravaganza is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!

This month, we're celebrating fruits and vegetables with Ellen of Family Around the Table leading the charge for National Fruits & Veggies Month.

The #FoodieExtravaganza Fruit and Veggie Celebration

A (Virtual) Farmers' Market Walk

My family and I are fortunate enough to live where we have farmers' markets all year long...and multiple markets every week. If I miss the one on Monday in downtown Pacific Grove, I can catch the one on Tuesday in downtown Monterey; and if I happen to be out of fresh produce by the weekend, Marina's Sunday market is one of my favorites anyway. The farmers set up rain or shine only taking off the week between Christmas and New Year's. Yep. I'm spoiled. I know it.

We even did an ingredient hunt at the farmers' market in the dead of winter for D's birthday dinner. Those kids bought all the ingredients, came to our house, then cooked and served dinner!

But strolling through the markets during the summertime is one of my favorite things to do. We have more time in the evenings since we aren't rushing home to do homework. And evenings are longer and, relatively, warmer. So for this month's Foodie Extravaganza where our theme is National Fruits & Veggies Month, I decided to take you on a virtual walk of one of my local markets. With the theme of fruits and veggies, I wanted to let the seasonal produce shine. And I am sharing a full recipe at the end.

But I'll share some recipe links throughout, too, and I hope this inspires you to go to your local farmers' market and pick up some fruits and vegetables that are in season. Eat in season, one of our markets' signs urges.

Walking through the farmers' market in Marina recently, I was picking through a pile of dinosaur kale when I heard a squeal of delight.  "Mamma!" D exclaimed "You've NEVER bought these before. Can you buy this?!"  He was excitedly gesturing at a pile of prickly pear paddles.  Ummmm...okay. One of my cardinal rules of motherhood: if a child asks to try a new food, buy it! But we also have tons of persistent favorites.

Lemons have us making Preserved Lemons, Marmalade, and Lemonade.

I adore making Quick-Pickled Blueberries when I see these lovelies at the markets. The boys always go more for the sweet side of things with Blueberry Cobbler and Berry Scones.

Apricot-Curry Jam was one of our creative summer preserves. Though most of the time summer stone fruits just get devoured by the pound. There's nothing better than sitting with your toes in the warm sand with sticky peach juice running down your chin!

When summer squash makes an appearance, I love to make prawn-zucchini sauce for pasta.

Any my Pickled Beans are a hit all year long!


Aren't these seasonal fruits and vegetables gorgeous? I love them so much. And, now, on to a chilled summer soup that is sweet and savory. Enjoy. And I'd love to hear what's your favorite, seasonal fruit or vegetable? What do you do with it?

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup 
with Preserved Lemon-Herb Salsa
I love the juxtaposition of the salty preserved lemons and the sweet cantaloupe soup.

  • 2 C cantaloupe, peeled and cubed
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 T chopped preserved lemon
  • 2 T chopped fresh herbs (I used mint, parsley, and cilantro)

Place the cantaloupe, stock, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To make the garnish, mix the preserved lemon and herbs together in a bowl. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.

To serve, pour soup into individual bowls or glasses. Top with preserved lemon mix and serve immediately.


  1. Well, you know I'm jealous. I'm also ashamed to say that our Farmers Markets have been up for a month now and I still haven't visited. I CANNOT wait for this remodel to be completed!!

  2. We have some year-round markets as well, but the selection varies with winter offerings being mostly things like apples from the orchards, Amish canned goods, and a huge selection of meat, cheese and charcuterie. I like to go to different ones as they offer different things. Love the price on those lemons! I've worked with nopalitos before, I am sure you will like them. Adding them to tacos is a good idea. And I love the sound of your chilled soup- so refreshing for the oppressively warm days just ahead.

  3. Great photos of the produce!! Lucky you to have so many farmers' markets. Totally jealous. I love salt on cantaloupe so this sounds amazing.

  4. The weather warms up and I always think that means no more soup til fall. Thank you for reminding me that there are beautiful chilled soups too!

  5. Your farmer's market looks awesome! Never had a chilled cantaloupe soup, but I bet my hubby would love it since it's one of his favorite fruits.


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