Comment: Watermelon, a gift from Africa, is a great summer joy in the South. Creating a cold, refreshing soup from this luscious fruit is a wonderful treat during the hot summer months. This one can be served hot or cold.
5 cups chopped seedless watermelon, rind discarded 16 (21-25 count) shrimp, peeled and de-veined 2 cups jumbo lump crabmeat ¼ cup vegetable oil 3 tbsps minced lemongrass ¼ cup minced onion 1½ tbsps minced ginger 2 tbsps minced garlic 1 hot chile pepper (Thai or habanero), stem and seeds removed and minced 2 tbsps fresh lime juice or to taste salt and cracked black pepper to taste ¼ cup chopped cilantro 2 tbsps olive oil
In a food processor or blender, purée watermelon until smooth. Transfer watermelon to a bowl. In a 9" skillet over medium heat, bring one half of the purée to a low simmer. Add shrimp and cook 4-5 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside. Reserve purée in skillet and set aside. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Sauté lemongrass, onion, ginger, garlic, and chile pepper for approximately 5 minutes or until pale golden and aromatic. Add reserved watermelon purée from skillet and simmer over moderate heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and transfer to blender or food processor. Add remaining watermelon and lime juice and blend until smooth. Season soup to taste with salt, pepper, and additional lime juice if desired. In a small bowl, combine crabmeat, cilantro, and olive oil. Toss to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, place four shrimp on the outer edge of each soup plate. Mound crab in the center and ladle hot or cold soup around.