Make Ahead

Watermelon Soup (AKA Summer Chili)

August 19, 2014
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This soup was born out of necessity during a trip to my brother's place in Manzanita, Oregon where we were vacationing with my in-laws 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.

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 is also delicious chilled but I prefer it warm.

10 Legs in the Kitchen

What You'll Need
  • INGREDIENTS (for soup)
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, peeled, garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, peeled, ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey (you might want to omit this if your watermelon is overly sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (1/2 tsp if you are not a fan of cumin flavor as I am)
  • many grinds of fresh pepper (I did 20, for the record)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 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 using a pressure cooker and spices added to the water. If you are using canned beans, drain and rinse them then add some salt, cumin and chili powder to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed 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 and others are more tame.
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • a sprinkle of sea salt and ground fresh pepper to taste
  1. INGREDIENTS (for soup)
  2. Sauté the onion, jalapeño and garlic in olive oil until soft (approximately 5 minutes).
  3. 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.
  4. Transfer to a saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce by approximately one cup.
  5. 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.
  6. Stir in the chopped herbs, let warm a few minutes longer while you pull together the salsa and heat your bowls.
  1. INGREDIENTS (for salsa)
  2. Mix all the ingredients together. I leave the avocado out to place on top, separately, so that any leftovers won't spoil.
  3. To serve: 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.
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