Try this nod to Mexican elote in soup form as summer corn rolls in

It's summer, and I could eat corn on the cob every day and twice on Sunday. Grilled or boiled, I usually slather it with butter, but honestly, I am just as happy with a plain old sprinkling of salt and nothing else.

So, elote or Mexican street corn never appealed to me. Well, until I actually tasted it, that is. Basically, elote is grilled corn on the cob coated with mayonnaise, seasoned with chili powder and sprinkled with fresh lime juice, Cotija cheese and cilantro.

And, wow, wow, wow. It's sweet and savory, tangy and spicy all at the same time. If you grill the corn, you also get that great smokey flavor.

It's delicious. It's also a messy proposition to eat. That's why turning it into a soup is such an easy way to serve this. This recipe for Elote Corn Soup is also super quick to get on the table, making it a great summertime addition to your repertoire.

The only real work involves cutting the kernels off the cobs. You can grill the corn ahead of time, darkening bits of the corn if you want that smokey flavor, or leave it as is.

Just make sure to save at least two of the actual cobs. Adding them to the soup adds to the depth of flavor and corn "sweetness." Speaking of which, feel free to be more generous with the chili powder if you want more of a kick and a bit less sweetness.

However you spice it, you may want to eat this every day and twice on Sunday.

• M. Eileen Brown is the Daily Herald's vice president of sales and marketing and an incurable soup-a-holic. She specializes in vegetarian soups and blogs at

  Top this Mexican elote soup with all the traditional fixings of the beloved street food. M. Eileen Brown/

Elote Corn Soup

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups corn kernels (from about 8 ears); save two cobs to use in the broth

Kosher salt

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, plus 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided

½ cup crumbled cotija cheese

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup sour cream or Mexican crema

Sweet paprika (for garnish)

Sliced jalapeño (for garnish)

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add corn and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until corn is crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer 1½ cups of the corn to a bowl; set aside.

Add broth, chili powder, oregano, cumin, two leftover corn cobs and ¼ teaspoon salt to saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until corn is tender and flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Remove the cobs from the soup. Remove the soup from the heat and let cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor until smooth. Return soup to pot and stir in heavy cream and 3 tablespoons lime juice. Rewarm soup over medium and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine reserved corn mixture with lime zest, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice, cotija, cilantro, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with a dollop of the corn mixture. Dollop with sour cream, sprinkle with paprika and top with jalapeño.

Serves 4

Adapted from

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