My Recipe Box

Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho with Lime Crema

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Serves 4 to 6

Yields 5 cups

  • by Samantha Seneviratne from Fine Cooking
    Issue 111

Watermelon, grilled to enhance its sweetness, balances the smoky-spicy kick of chipotle powder in this refreshing summer soup.

  • 2  Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2  tsp. chipotle chile powder
  • 3  lb. watermelon (about 1/8 of 1 large melon), sliced 3/4-inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 1  medium tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped English cucumber, peeled
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1  Tbs. chopped shallot
  • 1/2 medium serrano chile, seeded and chopped
  • 3-1/2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche

Prepare a high charcoal or gas grill fire.  In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbs. of the oil with the chipotle powder. Brush the watermelon slices with the chipotle oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Grill the watermelon until nicely charred on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove the rind, seed if necessary, and coarsely chop the flesh.

In a blender, combine the watermelon flesh, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, shallot, serrano chile, and the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Blend until almost smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in 1-1/2 Tbs. of the lime juice, the red wine vinegar, and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 4 hours.

When ready to serve, combine the crème fraîche with the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice in a small bowl. Taste the soup and correct the seasoning, if necessary. Ladle the soup into cups and garnish with a drizzle of the lime-crème fraîche mixture.

Photo: Scott Phillips

I added this gazpacho to a full backyard BBQ menu that I created on this site..being Backyard BBQ main dish Barbecue-Braised Bourbon Beef with Mustard Glaze cocktails Garden Party Cocktail starters Guacamole with Roasted Chile, Cumin, and Feta sides Shredded Carrots with Jalapeño, Lime & Cilantro Creamy Potato Salad with Radishes, Lemon & Dill The whole menu was a hit....just amazing. However the gazpacho was incredible, a lot of undertones with the grilled chipotle laced meat of the watermelon. A+++

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