Five great bowls of soup in Santa Fe

San Miguel Mission

Stroll through one of the oldest neighborhoods in Santa Fe (and in the country) the Barrio de Analco on the south bank of the Santa Fe River.

photo by Douglas Merriam

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Back StreetBistro. Locals can't get enough of the soup-sandwich-salad combos. Owner-soupier David Jacoby socks it to them with panache. Try the butternut squash and apple-walnut soup ($4.75), which sings with the half-Reuben. $; lunch Mon-Sat. 513 Camino de los Marquez; 505/ 982-3500.

Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery. Corn and chipotle soup ($4.25) is the staff and diners' favorite, especially when chased with an Atomic Blonde ale. A brewery atmosphere cross-pollinates with Southwest charm for a reviving ― and kid-friendly ― stop. $$; lunch and dinner daily. 133 Water St.; 505/984-1800.

Counter Culture Cafe. Far East meets Southwest in the bustling joint. Chicken tom yum ($3.95) warms the belly and ends in a spicy kick: Lemon grass and lime leaves enliven broth filled with chicken, rice noodles, and chile. $$; breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Tue-Sat. 930 Baca St.; 505/995-1105.

Saveur. Dave Chasen of L.A.'s famed and shuttered Chasen's restaurant entrusted Saveur's owner with his recipe for chili and beans ($5). Chef Matthew Lynn breathes new life into the soup each winter in a cozy space just a crouton's throw from the Plaza. $; lunch Mon-Fri. 204 Montezuma Ave.; 505/989-4200.

The Compound. Chef Mark Kiffin pairs earthy with ethereal in his wild forest mushroom "cappuccino" with steamed milk (from $8). Come in from Canyon Road's gallery-studded cold for an elegant respite. $$$$; lunch Mon-Sat, dinner nightly. 653 Canyon Rd.; 505/982-4353.

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