Chilled Melon and Thyme Soup


Pickled Watermelon Rind
  • 2 tablespoons water, plus additional, as needed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup chopped watermelon rind
  • 1/4 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
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste


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. 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; and then return to the stove. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature, and chill completely. Store, refrigerated, in a sealed container. Prepare the soup. Place cantaloupe in a blender or food processor. Add thyme, sour cream, heavy cream, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, and then season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 1 hour. To serve, ladle soup into small bowls and garnish with 3 to 6 pieces pickled watermelon rind.