This watermelon soup recipe is a tropical explosion in a bowl. In fact, if you could capture the essence of the Caribbean in flavor, this soup from Chef Annette Tomei touches on all the finest points. What appears to be a simple soup actually challenges the palate with a lineup of ingredients from fruits to nuts to cacao. What tropical dish would be complete without a nod to the great invention of the tropics, chocolate?
Not just a gazpacho but recipe for romance
Sweet, tart, crunchy, chewy, slippery, earthy yet light, it is a study in contrasts–and in nutrition. With watermelon as a base, this summer soup easily qualifies as a candidate for your next romantic meal. (Find out why we named watermelon to our 10 Best Foods for Men’s Sexual Health.)
Combine with the watermelon to make the creamy soup is cucumber, an aphrodisiac of somewhat comical repute. Find out more about why cucumber makes me giggle. And just so you don’t think this dish is just for men, I should point out that the acid that gives the soup a spark comes from lime, one of our 10 Best Foods for Women’s Sexual Health.
And if that’s not enough to make this watermelon soup a dish for romance, the garnish contains not one but two of the world’s most legendary aphrodisiacs. First there is almond. This Mediterranean nut is not an uncommon garnish for chilled soups. If you’ve ever tasted Spanish white gazpacho, you know that almond plays a starring role in this summertime soup.
But the other aphrodisiac garnish, cacao, is not an expected ingredient for dressing up a soup, either hot or cold. But Annette finishes this watermelon soup with a pinch of this earthy, crunchy, libido-lifting pieces of cacao, the base ingredient in chocolate. Cacao is not only an interesting garnish for both savory and sweet dishes, it’s an ingredient with fascinating aphrodisiac potential. If you have the time, I invite you to take a deep dive into the nutritional science of cacao with me.
How to make it a vegan summer soup
This fruit soup is an incredibly nutritious and vibrant combination of colors and flavors practically bursting from the bowl. And although Annette’s version is vegetarian, it couldn’t be simpler to modify this watermelon soup recipe as a vegan soup. Just substitute vegan yogurt for the Greek yogurt. If you can’t find or don’t like vegan yogurt, you can omit it entirely. (We love the tang the garnish of yogurt brings to the finished soup, but it isn’t essential to this soup’s flavor.)
Watermelon Soup with Jicama Salsa
- 1 lb cubed watermelon weight after cleaning
- 1 English cucumber peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp Greek yogurt plus more for garnish, optional
- Optional extra virgin olive oil for garnish
For the Jicama Salsa:
- 1/2 cup small dice of jicama
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds
- 1 tsp cacao nibs optional
- In blender, combine watermelon cubes, cucumber, lime juice, and salt.
- Pulse until broken down then blend on high until well pureed. Pour into a mixing bowl.
- Whisk in 1 tablespoon yogurt and the sherry vinegar.
- Adjust seasoning as necessary.
Prepare Jicama Salsa:
- Combine all ingredients a mixing bowl. Season to taste.
- Put approximately 1/4 cup Greek yogurt in a sandwich-size plastic bag, or a foodservice squeeze bottle. Snip a small piece of the corner/tip.
- Pour soup into a chilled bowl. Squeeze a ribbon of yogurt in a pattern on top of the soup if desired.
- Spoon approximately 1-1/2 tablespoons jicama salsa into the center.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil if desired.
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