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Mexican Street Corn Soup

This Mexican Street Corn Soup is made with fresh corn on the cob. Frozen or canned corn will not yield the same flavor and are not recommended.

Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 5 cups soup
Calories 363 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 6 cups fresh corn kernels , from 8-10 cobs (save 6 of the stripped cobs for simmering the soup)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (depending on your heat preferences), plus additional to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese , plus additional for garnish (substitute Parmesan or Romano if Cotija is unavailable)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro , divided
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large, nonstick pot or Dutch oven until shimmering. Add corn kernels, chopped onion, 1/8 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and corn is light golden brown in spots, about 10 minutes. 

  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Remove 1-1/2 cups of corn mixture from the pot and set aside. Stir broth and 6 stripped corn cobs into the pot, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

  3. Use tongs to remove corn cobs from pot and discard.

  4. Stir sour cream and Cotija into the soup. Transfer soup to a blender or food processor (in batches, depending on the size of your unit for safety), or use an immersion blender to puree soup until smooth.

  5. Return soup to pot and if needed, gently reheat to desired serving temperature. Stir in half (3/4 cup) of the reserved corn mixture, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and chili powder.

  6. Toss remaining 3/4 cup corn with lime zest and 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro. Serve soup, topped with a few spoonfuls of the corn mixture, and an extra sprinkling of Cotija, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Tip: To strip corn, place cob horizontally on a cutting board and shave the kernels with a sharp knife, rotating the cob as you go. Alternatively, brace the tapered end of the cob vertically in the center of a Bundt or tube pan, shaving the kernels from top to bottom as they fall into the pan.