Food Snob Chronicles – Up to your ears: More summertime soup

First things first — today’s recipe for Mexican-style Cream of Corn Soup has no culinary historical significance in Mexico. But its main ingredients do.

As far as corn goes, well … I often joke that most Mexican food contains the same 3-4 ingredients — and all dishes include corn. The corn part is not so far from the truth. In fact, corn to Mexico is like potatoes to Ireland or rice to China. It’s the cornerstone of the country’s eating habits, mainly because a lot of it grows there.

Did you know? Campbell’s introduced Beefsteak Tomato as its first canned soup in 1895. In the almost-120 years since, the company has introduced hundreds of other varieties — but only a handful that feature corn as a main ingredient. Campbell’s Condensed Sweet Corn Soup was discontinued in 2012 after a short run on supermarket shelves. The company debuted Super Sweet Corn Potage in 2010, but it’s only available in 40-oz (institutional size) cans.

Crema Mexicana (cream) is Mexico’s version of crème fraîche. Both are made similarly: by adding live cultures to cream. The Mexican version is buttery and slightly tangy, although not so much as the American version of sour cream. And it’s pourable, which is why crema Mexicana is often used as a table condiment.

This recipe is really a foundation, sort of like a plain cheesecake. It’s delicious in it’s most simple form, but can be taken in so many different directions, depending on what’s added to it. I’ve added a few suggestions to get you started. Enjoy!

Mexican-style Cream of Corn Soup (Crema de Elote)


What’cha gonna do with all that corn? Crema de Elote — Mexican-style Cream of Corn Soup.

4 cups – Fresh or frozen (and thawed) corn kernels
2 T – Ancho (or standard) chile powder
1 t – Oregano
1 cup – Crema Mexicana (see substitute option)

Kosher salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. In a 2 qt. Saucepan, bring to a simmer. Serve immediately.

Optional mix-ins/toppers
Zest of 1 Lime, blended with other ingredients before cooking;
2 Poblano peppers – Roasted, peeled and blended with the other ingredients;
2 cloves – Roasted garlic, blended with other ingredients before cooking;
1 cup – Fresh (or roasted) tomato, blended with other ingredients before cooking;
1 lb – Small (raw) shrimp, stirred in with other ingredients before cooking;
1 lb – Mexican chorizo, cooked and drained of excessive fat, mixed in before cooking;
2 TB – Fresh chopped cilantro; mix in after warming;
Sliced or diced Jalapeno, Fresno (pictured) or New Mexico chiles as a garnish

Substitute for Crema Mexicana
2/3 cup – Heavy cream
1/3 cup – Sour cream
1 tsp – Plain salt

Combine all ingredients. If using as a condiment, allow to sit at room temperature for an hour. Otherwise, this substitution recipe may be mixed and used immediately in the Mexican-style Cream of Corn Soup recipe.

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  1. Cream of Corn Soup – what a great idea, and so vibrant! I have a feeling I would add all kinds of crazy things to this. On another note, you somehow intertwined “My Humps” with this delicious summer Mexican soup. You’re one of a kind ;)


    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you, Shea. I mean, what doesn’t go well with corn? Or cream? This is one of my easy effort/great rewards dishes. Not bad for a guy who generally aspires to be mediocre. ;-)

  2. I like a nice corn chowder…hmm, haven’t made one in a long time so maybe I need to do that. Now here’s what I’ve heard about corn and what the Mexicans typically do (you got it under mix in/ toppers…I’ve been told that corn has no nutritional value and is actually an ‘anti-vitamin” and to correct that little problem, Mexicans typically add lime to give it nutritional vale. Have you come across that in your research?

    • adamjholland says:

      No. And since when does corn not have nutritional value? Corn and lime — fine. Tastes good. But never feel guilty if you don’t eat the two in the same sitting.

  3. So simple! Ancho chile powder is always in my pantry.

  4. Oh, this looks so good! I put up corn this year and I will be making this in just a few weeks – Pinning to my comforting soups and stews board!

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