Saturday, July 4, 2009

Spicy Watermelon Soup

At a friends house several years ago I had a soup that just knocked my socks off. It was orange in color and the flavor was interestingly savory with a kick of heat. We all had fun trying to figure out what the base of the soup was. When my host revealed to us that it was made from watermelon I was blown away. I couldn't imagine that watermelon could make such an interesting savory soup. I am having some friends over for a 4th of July cookout tonight and I thought I would make this soup or at least a variation on the theme. Searching the web I found just the recipe that my friend used over on the Epicurious web site. You can see it here. I did make a few changes to that recipe but what turned out was a wonderfully delicious and refreshing soup.

Ingredients:
~6 cups of chopped seeded watermelon
Zest and juice from two limes
3 tbsp of caramelized onions (I had them prepared for burgers later)
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp Thai hot and sour soup paste
2 Jalapeño chilis, seeded
Salt and pepper to taste

The watermelon was puréed in a blender until smooth. A heavy bottomed pot was heated and a bit of olive oil was added. Into the pot was added the chopped garlic, chopped ginger and the soup paste. This was sautéed for about 30 seconds until the aromas were rising from the pan. The lime zest was added and about 1/3 of the watermelon purée was poured into the pot. The mixture was heated to a simmer and cooked for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper was added to taste. The hot soup was placed into a blender with the chopped peppers and lime juice. This was blended and the rest of the watermelon was added. After blending until smooth the soup was strained through a fine strainer.

The combination of cooked and fresh watermelon marry perfectly in this dish. The heat comes through and the Thai soup paste gives another dimension to the flavor profile. I added the soup paste in part because I did not have lemongrass on hand and that is one of the ingredients in the paste. I absolutely adore the bright orange color that cooked watermelon takes on. This could be served warm but I plan to serve it cold. Either way it is delicious.

4 comments:

Cindy said...

Have to try this! I have tons of lemongrass, so I'll check the epicurious version first.

Thanks Greg!

Suzy said...

Wow..neat flavor combination. I've found I really like watermelon in savory things so would like to give this one a shot!

Fearless Kitchen said...

This is a really interesting idea. I love watermelon and it's getting to watermelon season, so I'll have to give this a shot sometime!

once in a blue moon... said...

umm i could enjoy this in a non heat kinda way, allergic to peppers, but i can just omit and i bet still delish~