When I signed up for the watermelon carving challenge I figured inspiration would arrive by the time I received my personal-sized watermelon and its accompanying dual-ended melon baller. It didn’t.
So, I scoured The National Watermelon Promotion Board‘s website to see if anything sparked an idea. One look at the fun and fanciful watermelon rabbits, sharks and hedgehogs and my brain seized. I got the sculpting equivalent of writer’s block. I went blank. Totally and completely blank.
To kickstart my creativity, I looked through books, surfed the net and flipped through magazines. I meditated on the issue. I rolled the watermelon about the kitchen floor. I even went to bed envisioning the word “watermelon” in bright pink letters in hopes the answer might come to me in a dream. It didn’t.
After days of lackluster watermelon inspiration I resigned myself to failure. While I sulked on the back steps and contemplated leaving the adorable little watermelon in the refrigerator until it dissolved into something unrecognizable, a Japanese anemone caught the breeze and bobbed about in the garden. This soft pink flower is one of my favourites. Its simple and elegant petals are a final splash of light summer pink before deep autumn tones take over. Gently curved anemones speak to me more than over-stuffed double roses, ruffled hybrid lilies or busy asters.
And then it hit me. I was making things too hard. The answer to my watermelon dilemma was waving at me. So, here is my watermelon carving challenge entry:
It’s an anemone-inspired soup bowl — a simple, soft watermelon pink anemone set against a green garden. And like the one that is blooming in my back yard right now, it’s ever so slightly imperfect.
Got a sharp knife and a spoon? Then your about 2 minutes away from your very own anemone bowl. Just carve the end off the watermelon in a wavy circle, remove the end and scoop out the melon. Yes, it’s that easy. You don’t have to be careful with the watermelon flesh since it gets puréed.
The resulting soup is equally simple to make — if you don’t mind the odd raspberry seed. If you do, grab a sieve. It’ll add five minutes. Either way, this end-of-summer soup is light and refreshing. Perfect for those hot, humid September days that trick us into thinking summer will last forever even though you know it won’t.
Watermelon and Raspberry Chilled Soup
Makes 4 servings as an appetizer
- 2 cups watermelon, diced and seeded
- 1 cup raspberries
- freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- pinch of sea salt
- honey, maple syrup or sugar to taste (optional)
- Greek yogurt
- mint, slivered
- pistachios, chopped
Purée the watermelon and raspberries in a blender. If raspberry seeds bother you, strain the liquid through a sieve. If they don’t, use the fruit purée as is.
Add the lime, ginger, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. Taste the soup. Depending on how sweet your fruit is, you may want to add a splash of honey, maple syrup or sugar. Chill the soup for an hour or until you’re ready to eat.
Pour the soup into bowls, adding a dollop of Greek yogurt in the centre. Sprinkle with slivered mint and chopped pistachios. Serve while cold.