A “P”eace offering, of sorts. I think perhaps I offended my friend. Well, not offended as much as skewed some of the facts, hence making him crazy. He needs things to be accurate and perfectly factual. I just like to tell it like I see it, even if my view is slightly skewed. So, as an offering of goodwill (and subsequent editing – well, one item at least), I used his “gifted” watermelon to make my favorite watermelon soup.
This one is “from the journals” (mine) – July, 2009. I came up with it on a trip to my brother’s place in Manzanita, Oregon where we were vacationing with my in-laws, Lois and Bill, at the time. Each of us had brought a few baby watermelons to the gathering on the coast. When life brings you watermelon (or 5), eat it with salt, then use the leftovers to make soup.
Watermelon Soup (AKA Summer Chile) Serves 6 – 8
Although this is served with a “salsa”, the salsa is actually the body of the soup. The watermelon broth is ladeled over the the salsa and they mingle nicely to become a light chili. I like to dollop a spoonful of sour cream or crème fraîche over too before serving. This soup would also be good chilled but I prefer it warm.
INGREDIENTS (for soup broth)
Olive oil for sautéing (approx 1 TB)
1 heaping cup chopped sweet onion
2 TB chopped jalapeño
2 TB chopped, peeled, garlic
1 tsp chopped, peeled, ginger
5 heaping cups, rinds removed, sliced, seedless watermelon (juice from sitting counts too)
Juice of 1 lime (approximately 2-3 TB)
1 tsp honey (you might want to omit this if your watermelon is overly sweet)
1 tsp ground cumin (1/2 tsp if you are not a fan of cumin flavor as I am)
1/2 tsp kosher salt (+/-) to taste
Many grinds of fresh pepper (I did 20, for the record)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup (+/-) mix of fresh mint, basil, cilantro
INGREDIENTS (for salsa)
2 cobs of corn, grilled, corn removed from cob
2 cups cooked black (or pinto) beans (I make mine from scratch which you can see here). If you are using canned beans, drain and rinse them then add some salt, cumin and chili powder to taste)
1 TB lime juice
Minced jalapeño, to taste (optional – only if you want to add some more heat. Alternatively, a little bowl could be offered to guests on the side if some like it spicy (Bill) and others are more tame (Lois))
1 avocado, peeled and diced
A sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste
PREPARE (soup broth)
Sauté the onion, jalapeño and garlic in olive oil until soft (approximately 5 minutes).
Add everything (including the cooked onion mix) other than the herbs to a food processor and purée. You might need to do this in two batches.
Transfer to a saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce by approximately one cup.
Check for consistency and flavor. Adjust to your taste. Perhaps a little more lime juice or another pinch of salt? Like it spicy? Add more jalapeño to the base or keep it for your salsa.
Stir in the chopped herbs, let warm a few minutes longer while you pull together the salsa and heat your bowls.
Mix all the ingredients together. I leave the avocado out to place on top, separately, so that any leftovers won’t spoil.
In heated bowls, place a large spoonful of salsa (topped with the avocado if you haven’t. Mixed it in yet) in the center and ladle the warm soup broth over top. Garnish with sour cream or crème fraîche if you like.
For “P”, I have included a spoonful of chopped garlic, since I left “lot’s of it” out of his “loaf” burger. It was meant as a joke but before I could warn him, he had already added to soup and consumed half the bowl. I have yet to hear if it was too much (but I suspect not). This is where I would argue that minced jalapeño would be nicer than garlic.
Souper sorry. :o)