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In 1989 Joan and Carl Stromquist published Santa Fe Recipe, a collection of 299 recipes from 30 of the wonderful restaurants that make Santa Fe, then and now, a culinary center of distinction. In the next decade, Joan, and sometimes Carl, went on to write nine more books featuring recipes from New Mexico and California. These are wonderful, flavor-jammed books, but the springboard was this first one.

Many of the restaurants featured in this book are now, sadly, gone. But the very first restaurant, Bishop’s Lodge, is still there and the recipe below, for Cold Watermelon Soup, is the first recipe in Santa Fe Recipe. It’s a cold soup but a very warm start to this excellent collection of restaurant recipes. The emphasis is, naturally, on Southwestern cuisine. Some of the stars in this book include:

Cream of Wild Mushroom and Pinon Soup

Jalapeno Chowder

Spanish Roasted Red Bell Pepper Salad

Green Chile Burrito

Breast of Chile Relleno

Lobster Enchiladas

Santa Fe Ravioli [goat cheese, green chiles, prosciutto!]

Artichoke Mousse

Mexican Marble Cheesecake

Heath Bar Pie with Guadalupe Hot Fudge Sauce

You can still find Joan’s books for sale. It’s never too late to begin enjoying these exciting displays of Southwestern cuisine.This is wonderful food.

Cold Watermelon Soup

Yield: serves 4


  • 3 pounds watermelon meat, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces mineral water
  • 8 ounces sweet white wine (Riesling or liebfraumilch)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cantaloupe, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 slice honeydew melon, peeled and finely diced


Place the watermelon in a food processor or blender. Blend it on low speed for 3 minutes, or until the melon has reached a pureed consistency, but is not foamy.

Pour the melon in a medium mixing bowl. Add the sugar, mineral water, and wine. Blend them together.

Add the lemon juice and stir it in.

Cover and store the mixture in the refrigerator until it is cold. Serve in a soup bowl.

Garnish with the diced cantaloupe and honeydew.