Sopa de Elote | Authentic Mexican Corn Soup

This sopa de elote is hearty, authentic, and lighter than many other versions you’ll find so it is a perfect choice for a light meal any day of the week.

Sopa de elote, aka corn soup in a bowl garnished with tortilla chips, cheese, and cream.

About The Recipe

Sopa de elote is a traditional Mexican corn soup that is simple to make and full of hearty flavors. The soup gets its name from its main ingredient: fresh corn.

This traditional recipe is popular in central Mexico where is usually called sopa de elote con rajas because is made also with roasted poblano peppers. The result is a chunky soup with loads of flavor.

It is also typically served with crumbled queso fresco (fresh farmer’s cheese), Mexican crema, and a squeeze of lime.

In Mexico, elote means “fresh corn”, and is used for a large variety of traditional dishes, such as tamales de elote or atole de elote.

So, when a dish has this word on its name, you know that it only means there’s fresh corn in the ingredients.

Yes, also that word could mean the famous corn snack everybody knows, but a Mexican will quickly identify when someone is talking about the snack and when is about the ingredient.

Close-up of sopa de elote.

Why You Should Make It

  • Authentic flavor: The recipe is a Mexican classic and uses fewer ingredients than many versions, still is so delicious.
  • Easy to make: No super skills needed, blend, sauté, simmer. That’s it!
  • Common ingredients: I used canned white corn but any type of corn can be substituted into the recipe.
  • Batch the dish: Make more of it and freeze without the toppings for a handy prep meal.
  • Healthy: This corn soup is naturally gluten-free and vegan (without toppings). Packed with veggies, it makes the perfect healthy dish for family dinners.

Ingredients Needed

  • Mexican white corn: You will need about 1 1/2 cups of corn kernels, that’s about 2 ears of corn. Or you can also use canned or frozen white corn.
  • Poblano pepper: If you can’t find fresh poblano peppers where you live, look for canned poblanos in Mexican stores or online. One 8-oz/220g can of roasted poblano peppers strips should be enough for this recipe.
  • Tomato: 1 medium ripe tomato would be enough.
  • Onion: 1 small onion, sliced. Use any type of onion you’d prefer.
  • Spices: Oregano, garlic, and black pepper.
  • Stock: Use vegetable stock, or any type of stock you prefer. Chicken broth (caldo de pollo) is also a good option.
  • Oil (or butter): I prefer extra virgin olive oil, but feel free to use your favorite oil.
  • Salt: To taste, make sure you season after you add the stock.
Ingredients for Sopa de Elote in a kitchen countertop and labeled with names.

How To Make Sopa De Elote

Start by preparing the poblano pepper:

  1. Roast the pepper in a griddle until the skin blackens and bubbles.
  2. Place it in a bowl and cover with a lid or cling film.
  3. Let it cool enough so you can handle it, then remove the skin with a paper towel.
  4. Cut the pepper into strips and set aside.

Add tomato chunks, garlic, and oregano to a blender or food processor. Pour in 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. Strain the sauce and set it aside.

Tomato blended in a bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot and sauté onions until soft.

Sautéing onions with olive oil.

Stir in corn kernels and roasted peppers for 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors.

Stirring corn, aka elote, and roasted peppers with the onions.

Pour in the tomato sauce, mix, and let it cook for one minute.

Added tomato sauce to the pan and leaving it to cook for 1 minute.

Pour in the vegetable stock, and season with salt and pepper.

Set the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for 15 minutes with the pot uncovered.

Seasoning sopa de elote.

Adjust seasonings to taste and turn off the heat.

Ladle the soup into 4 serving bowls garnish with your favorite toppings (read below) and serve.

Recipe Notes

  • You can also remove the seeds and core of the tomato if you want.
  • Straining the tomato sauce delivers a lighter broth, but you can also add it without straining. Or you can use tomato puree too.
  • If you want to use fresh corn on the cob, cut kernels inside a large bowl, so they won’t spill everywhere.
  • Add salt only after you added the vegetable stock, so you won’t end with a salty soup.
  • Add a spicy kick by sautéing some chopped jalapeno or serrano peppers with the onions.
  • In some places in Mexico fresh herbs like epazote or cilantro leaves are added to this soup, try them if you have them available.

How To Serve

One of the best toppings is Mexican crumbling cheese and you can make your own with this Queso Fresco recipe.

Add some Mexican crema (or sour cream) and tortilla chips for a great finish to the recipe. Or you can add some shredded Oaxaca cheese too.

To serve, enjoy with your favorite bread. Something like this Bolillos Bread is ideal to help mop up all of that delicious broth!

And if you want to spice it up, this roasted Mexican salsa is perfect! So are some fresh jalapeño pepper slices, or chopped serrano chiles for garnish.

Mexican sopa de elote in a bowl with garnishes on top.

How To Store And Reheat

You can store sopa de elote in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and freeze it for up to 2 months.

It’s great for batch cooking and meal preparation because you simply increase the number of ingredients and then freeze some for those busy days.

Allow the elote soup to chill in an airtight container before placing it in the fridge or freezer. We recommend glass containers because they preserve better food flavors.

Related: The Best Freezer-Safe Containers For Food. By The Kitchn

To defrost frozen soup, place it in the refrigerator overnight, then heat over medium heat on your stovetop or in a microwave on a medium setting in 90-seconds intervals.

More Mexican Soups Recipes

  • Sopa de verduras – This healthy Mexican vegetable soup is flavorful and so easy to make.
  • Chicken fideo – The classic sopita de fideo gets an upgrade with our favorite protein!
  • Sopa Azteca – Our classic and traditional recipe for tortilla soup.
  • Caldo de res – My favorite beef soup ever, with lots of flavor and also economical.
Sopa de elote recipe.

Sopa de Elote (Mexican corn soup)

author Maricruz
This hearty and flavorful Mexican corn soup (sopa de elote) is made with white corn and poblano peppers simmered in a light broth. An authentic recipe that you will love!
prep 10 minutes
cook 20 minutes
serving 2

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cups Mexican white corn kernels (red notes)
  • 1 large poblano pepper (read notes)
  • 1 medium tomato (cut into chunks)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Roast poblano pepper on a griddle or in your oven until the skin blackens and bubbles.
  • Place the pepper in a bowl and cover with a lid or cling film.
  • Let it cool enough so you can handle it, then remove the skin with a paper towel.
  • Cut the pepper into strips and set aside.
  • Add tomatoes, garlic, and oregano to a blender.
  • Pour in 1 cup of stock and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat.
  • Add onion and sauté until soft (about 2 minutes).
  • Add corn kernels and roasted peppers. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, add the remaining stock, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes with the pot uncovered.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste and turn off the heat.
  • Serve in bowls with cream, cheese, and a squeeze of lime.

Notes

  • If you can’t find fresh corn, use frozen or canned.
  • If you can’t find fresh poblano peppers where you live, look for canned poblanos in Mexican stores or online. Use one small can, about 8-oz/220g.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1bowl w/o garnishes | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 2599mg | Potassium: 700mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1801IU | Vitamin C: 87mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
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