Misitam Café serves this refreshing dish in the summer. The pickled watermelon adds a pleasing tangy contrast and crunch to the pale sweet soup.
Pickled Watermelon Rind
2 tablespoons water, plus additional as needed
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chopped watermelon rind
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons honey
4 cups coarsely chopped ripe cantaloupe
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 cup sour cream
½ cup heavy cream
Juice from ½ lemon
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste
1. Prepare the pickled watermelon. In a large bowl, stir together the water and salt until the salt has dissolved. Add the watermelon rind and any additional water needed to cover the rind; stir to mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. Place vinegar, cinnamon, allspice, and honey in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the watermelon rind, add to the vinegar mixture, then return to the stove. Bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature, then chill completely. Store, refrigerated, in a sealed container.
3. Prepare the soup. Place cantaloupe in a blender or food processor. Add thyme, sour cream, heavy cream, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 1 hour.
4. To serve, ladle soup into small bowls and garnish with 3 to 6 pieces pickled watermelon rind.
Makes 4 to 6 servings