Recipes | Fruit-Inspired Soup & Spritzers | Desert Botanical Garden


Grilled Watermelon Soup

Courtesy of Gertrude’s Restaurant


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 seedless watermelon, cut into three 1-1/2-in.-thick slices
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, halved
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons diced red onion, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sherry (or red wine) vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced (we like ours grilled)



  1. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil over watermelon slices, tomato, cucumber and jalapeno; grill, covered, on a greased grill rack over medium-high direct heat until seared, 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, reserving one watermelon slice.
  2. When cool enough to handle, remove rind from remaining watermelon slices; cut flesh into chunks. Remove skin and seeds from tomato and jalapeno; chop. Coarsely chop cucumber. Combine grilled vegetables; add 1/4 cup onion, garlic, vinegar, lime juice and seasonings. Process in batches in a blender until smooth, adding remaining olive oil during final minute. If desired, strain through a fine-mesh strainer; adjust seasonings as needed. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled.
  3. To serve, pour gazpacho into bowls or glasses. Top with diced avocado and remaining onion. Cut reserved watermelon slice into wedges. Garnish bowls or glasses with wedges.

Yields 4 servings

Cantaloupe Spritzer

Courtesy of Gertrude’s Restaurant


  • 3-4 basil OR mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 fl oz vodka
  • 1/2 cup pureed cantaloupe (very ripe)
  • 3 T simple syrup (recipe below)
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Sparkling natural mineral water or club soda



  1. In bottom of cocktail shaker, muddle the herb leaves.
  2. Add the vodka, pureed cantaloupe, simple syrup, and fresh lime.
  3. Fill shaker almost full with ice, and shake vigorously for about 5 seconds.
  4. Strain into prepared glass.
  5. Add crushed ice to almost fill the glass and a splash of sparkling mineral water.

  6. Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan, add equal parts sugar and water and heat on medium just until sugar is dissolved.  Cool and store for several weeks.

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