August 9, 2006
Sopa Elote (Corn Soup, Mexican style)

Every good Midwestern boy enjoys corn. Some like it on the cob, some off. Some like it in cornbread or creamed, and some like it in soup.

I like it all those ways, but my recent new favorite is in a coup with Mexican style ingredients. It seems every good Mexican boy likes corn as well.

As I make this soup, its a peasant food (OK, food for a peasant with a hand-blender), but you could easily make it a little fancier with a little straining to get the corn niblet skins out. I like the fiber and don't mind the texture at all.

Unlike yesterday's chiles rellenos recipe, this is a recipe to make when you've got a lot going on and not much time to pay attention to making dinner. You could make this recipe with fresh corn, but frozen works well here. I'd still avoid canned corn, which is only good for weighing down tofu presses, in my opinion.

You can substitute jalapenos or serranos for the poblano and yogurt or sour cream for the crema in this recipe, but if you have to pick only one of those to keep, keep the crema. It adds a very authentic feel to the soup.

This soup is spicy, creamy, sweet, sophisticated, and simple all at once. No, really. Try it and tell me if you disagree.

For additional flavor, thaw and roast the niblets first to concentrate their essence.

Sopa Elots (Corn Soup, Mexican style)
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped roughly, white parts only
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 16 oz. bag frozen corn niblets
1 poblano pepper, chopped coarsely
1/2 red onion, diced coarsely
1 teaspoon cayenne
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup Mexican/Salvadoran crema

Sautee the leeks and garlic in the oil and butter over medium heat until the leeks are softened but not colored.

Add the poblano, corn, and onion. Sautee for about a minute or two. Add the stock and cayenne. Bring just to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes.

Take the soup off the heat. Add the cilantro and crema. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Serve with a tortilla chip and cilantro garnish.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at August 9, 2006 7:15 AM Print-friendly version
Comments

Sounds and looks great, but you sorta lost me with the frozen corn. Will try with fresh stuff. Thanks

Posted by gino on August 9, 2006 at 11:23 AM

Fresh will certainly work, but I think it's somewhat wasted here. Not a problem when you can get 10 ears for a buck, but when you have to pay $1/ear as you do where I live, the frozen looks pretty good.

Posted by barrett on August 9, 2006 at 11:50 AM

hi Barrett,

I have a commercial kitchen to rent!

Hope this gets to you....

Astrid
970 219-8160
Ft Collins, CO 80524

please all :-)

Posted by Astrid on August 9, 2006 at 3:27 PM

I agree about the frozen corn, especially as we're right in the midst of corn season. Instead, I'll use fresh corn but frozen chiles -- a gift of a package of New Mexico green chiles brought back to New England by one of my cooking group members. I've been waiting to use those chiles for something other than stew, so thanks for the inspiration.

Posted by Lydia on August 10, 2006 at 8:59 AM

Mmmmmm.

Can I say it again?

Mmmmmmm.

-That- sounds fandamntastic, Barrette.

Last night I made chili that included corn to go with the beans to make a complete protein. And the corn I used was some I bought last fall during the last of the corn glut, roasted on the grill, and then cut off the cob and froze. It was the last bag of it I put up, and it tasted great--smoky-sweet and delicious. It would be a good thing to put in this soup, too.

Nothing like making your own convenience foods.....

Posted by Barbara on August 10, 2006 at 10:03 AM

Oh, and closer than Baltimore, there is an Indian market in Laurel, on US 1, called Apna Bazaar.

The one on Snowden, if it is the one I am remembering, is pretty good, too. That is the first place I saw curry leaves....and they used to carry Sumeet grinders.

Posted by Barbara on August 10, 2006 at 10:46 AM

this looks great... will definitely give it a try...

Posted by paul on August 10, 2006 at 12:02 PM

Hi ,
I have absolutely fresh sweet hulled corn at hand and was about to make this soup. But...what is Mexican / Salvadoran crema ? And will a dried red or fresh green chili do instead of poblano pepper??

Posted by deccanheffalump on August 13, 2006 at 9:20 AM

Hi, I found your site by accident----it's wonderful! I'm an avid cook [probably should have been a chef instead of a nurse] & cooking is my serious hobby. With the abundance of the sweetest corn here in Western New York, I just had to make this sopa with the fresh stuff. Did not use crema [used sour cream], jalepeno pepper & am one of those "don't like cilantro" people, so I skipped that one. I only used the blender for 3/4 of the soup so I could get the texture. WoW-----really delish with a big slice of garlic Tuscan bread to clean up the plate. Next time, I will try to find crema & m-a-y-b-e cut the cayenne to 1/2 tsp.-----too much heat diminishes that sweet/salty/spicy/sophisticated ending a tad. It's definately a keeper though! Thanks Barret!
Jackie in Buffalo

Posted by Jackie2830 on August 22, 2006 at 3:57 PM

Hi, I found your site by accident----it's wonderful! I'm an avid cook [probably should have been a chef instead of a nurse] & cooking is my serious hobby. With the abundance of the sweetest corn here in Western New York, I just had to make this sopa with the fresh stuff. Did not use crema [used sour cream], jalepeno pepper & am one of those "don't like cilantro" people, so I skipped that one. I only used the blender for 3/4 of the soup so I could get the texture. WoW-----really delish with a big slice of garlic Tuscan bread to clean up the plate. Next time, I will try to find crema & m-a-y-b-e cut the cayenne to 1/2 tsp.-----too much heat diminishes that sweet/salty/spicy/sophisticated ending a tad. It's definately a keeper though! Thanks Barret!
Jackie in Buffalo

Posted by Jackie2830 on August 22, 2006 at 3:58 PM

Hi, I found your site by accident----it's wonderful! I'm an avid cook [probably should have been a chef instead of a nurse] & cooking is my serious hobby. With the abundance of the sweetest corn here in Western New York, I just had to make this sopa with the fresh stuff. Did not use crema [used sour cream], jalepeno pepper & am one of those "don't like cilantro" people, so I skipped that one. I only used the blender for 3/4 of the soup so I could get the texture. WoW-----really delish with a big slice of garlic Tuscan bread to clean up the plate. Next time, I will try to find crema & m-a-y-b-e cut the cayenne to 1/2 tsp.-----too much heat diminishes that sweet/salty/spicy/sophisticated ending a tad. It's definately a keeper though! Thanks Barret!
Jackie in Buffalo

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