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Charred Watermelon Soup with Chile-Lime Shrimp, Pickled Watermelon Rind and Jalapeno Crema

Menu PartSoup
Charred Watermelon Soup

Corporate Executive Chef Drew Ward

Artisanal Brewing Ventures

Charlotte, N.C.

This refreshing, zero-waste watermelon soup uses every part of a seedless melon. The fruit forms the base of the soup and the rind is pickled and used as a topping. For more complex flavor, chef Drew Ward grills the watermelon quarters until they’re slightly charred. The smoky melon is then pureed with olive oil and chilled. Jalapeno cream, shrimp marinated in a lime-chile mixture and the pickled rind garnish the soup to add more layers of flavor.



Charred watermelon soup

1 seedless watermelon, rind removed and reserved (avg weight 10 lbs)

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Salt to taste

Pickled watermelon rind

1 qt. watermelon rind, green removed and diced into small ½-in. cubes

1 cup rice wine vinegar

1 cup water

¼ cup sugar

2 tsp. kosher salt

Jalapeno crema

2 jalapenos, seeded and rough chopped

1 cup sour cream

Zest of 1 lime

Salt and pepper. to taste

1 tsp. chopped cilantro

Lime-chile shrimp

1 lb. shrimp

Zest and juice of 2 limes

½ tsp. cayenne

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. For soup, using a knife slice all the rind off of the watermelon (do not throw away rind.) Preheat a grill to high heat (preferably charcoal).

2. Quarter watermelon and season with salt. Place watermelon on hot grill; cook on one side until black lines begin to form. Flip watermelon it to another side and char. Once all sides have a little bit of char and watermelon feels hot, pull off the grill. (This should take about 4 minutes per side.)

3. Chop watermelon into small chunks. In blender, place vinegar, salt and cilantro; begin to puree. As blade is running, drop a few pieces of watermelon in at a time to puree. Once all watermelon is pureed, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Check seasoning and chill. 

4. For pickled watermelon rind,in large saucepan, combine all ingredients except watermelon rind. Bring to a boil over high heat; add the watermelon rind and return to a boil. Let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool in liquid. (Can store in refrigerator for 1 week.)

5.  For jalapeno crema,in food processor, blend jalapeno, lime, cilantro, salt and pepper until pureed. In small bowl, combine jalapeno puree with sour cream.  

6.For lime chile shrimp,in medium bowl, combine lime zest, cayenne, salt and pepper. In another medium bowl, combine lime juice and shrimp. Toss shrimp in lime juice, then in spice mixture. On hot grill, grill shrimp until cooked through. Let cool down; chop roughly.

 7. To assemble,Pour watermelon soup in serving bowl (always good to buzz one more time before serving). Garnish soup with diced shrimp, diced pickled watermelon rind and a dollop of jalapeno crema.

Photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board

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