Thursday, September 02, 2004


Watermelon Soup with Crab

I made this soup last night, and let me tell you, it was Fan-Tas-Tic-Outta-sight-Dee-lish-us!! Trust me on this one, you will LOVE it! I left out the cilantro and used mint instead, try it with either...another thing I did which is a touch complicated to explain is that I did half the recipe with yellow melon and half with pink, then I poured it in the bowl with two ladles simultaneously and made a sort of ying-yang pattern. If that makes sense, and you can find yellow watermelon, give it a whirl...

6 cups coarsely chopped, seeded watermelon (without the rind)
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small Thai red chile finely chopped (with seeds)
Juice and zest of one large lime
Salt (Sea salt, if you have it)
2 cups lump crabmeat
¼ cup finely minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Garnish with lime wedges and black sesame seeds

Purée watermelon in a blender until smooth and transfer to a bowl.

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan cook the shallot, ginger, and garlic in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 4 minutes. Add about one third of watermelon purée and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, 4 minutes.

Remove watermelon mixture from heat, then in two batches, transfer to blender along with chile, lime juice and zest, and salt and blend until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids, never fill the blender more than half way).

Add remaining watermelon purée as another batch and blend briefly. Combine all and season soup with more chile, lime juice, and salt as desired, blending more if necessary.

Pour soup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on and then discarding any solids. This step can be skipped, but I don't think you should, it makes it so much more elegant.

Chill soup, uncovered, about 2 hours.

To prepare the crabmeat simply toss it with the cilantro, oil, and salt.

Divide crab among 4 soup plates, mounding in center, and pour chilled soup around it.

Soup can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Cover after 2 hours of chilling.

Serves four

Watermelon is really a vegetable. Cousin to the
cucumber and kin to the gourd, watermelons
can range in size from 7 to 100 pounds.
The world record for the largest watermelon
is 255 pounds, grown by Vernon Conrad of Oklahoma.

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