If you have surfed the interwebs any time in the last 6 months you might have come across a few hundred thousand recipes for that cheesy, spicy, mayonnaisey Mexican treat called elote. It seemed to me that the only rational thing to do in this scenario is to bump it up to a hundred thousand and one with a soup rendition, because if there is one thing I believe in, it’s that everything is better in a bowl.
What’s that? You think so too? Okay, here we go. First you go to your backyard and pull 4 or so ears of corn out of your garden…..or procure it from some other place. I understand not everyone needs a 24 hour corn supply like I do.
Then you gather up some onions, garlic, jalapeños, chile powder, and cream which will be standing in for the mayonnaise in this version. You might want a lime too.
You shuck the corn and remove all the juicy little kernels by holding the corn upright with one hand and carefully sliding your knife down the cob (a few might fall on the floor and then you might step on them and get corn juice all over your feet, it’s okay, just let it happen).
But wait, don’t throw those cobs away! We are going to use them to make the stock for the soup. Corn kernels + corn cobs = super-d-dooper corn soup.
What else goes in corn stock you might ask? Well the onion skin and ends you just took off and the core from the jalapeño. The papery skins from the garlic too, and the garlic ends (which I know you removed because ain’t nobody got time for garlic butts.
Then you let that simmer until the corn infuses the water with sweetness and your kitchen smells like it’s been transplanted to the middle of a field somewhere in Iowa…..or about an hour. Meanwhile you can start sautéing up all those veggies you chopped—multitasking, yes!
Then you strain the wet into the dry and get rid of that first pot, cause really, who’s idea was it to make soup with two pots? Oh wait, never mind, you can always use store bought broth if this is all becoming too much.
Then all that’s left is cook, cook, cook. And blend, blend, blend. And while your cooking and blending you make a little cheesy crumble (look at you still multitasking!!). I went for blue cheese here even though no proud Mexican would ever put blue cheese on their elote. But, hear me out my Mexican pragmatists, the blue cheese adds that necessary tang that is essential to good street corn. Give it a try or use more traditional Cotija or even Parm, it’s okay, I won’t be mad.
And that’s it! Spicy, tangy, cheesy corn-on-a-stick, in a bowl.
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- 4 ears corn, shucked
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small red onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 jalapeños, cored and chopped (seeds removed if you want less heat)
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 cayenne or thai bird chile, thinly sliced
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Remove all the kernels from the corn by sliding your knife down the cob of the corn. Save the kernels (you should have about 3 cups) and place the cobs in a pot.
- To make the corn stock, cover the cobs with 8 cups of water then add the onion trimmings, garlic skins, jalapeño core, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. You can add more aromatics if you want, things like chopped celery, bay leaf, black peppercorns, or fresh parsley would be good. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for an hour.
- When the stock is ready, heat oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Let cook for a few minutes to soften then add garlic and jalapeños, and corn. Season again with salt and pepper. Let cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add chile powder and let toast for a minute or two.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over the vegetables in the pot and carefully pour the stock through the strainer. Discard the solids.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- Ladle soup into a blender and cover the top with a clean dish towel (you may need to do this in batches). Purée on low, then slowly increase the speed until the mixture is smooth. Return the puréed soup to the pot, add the cream and reheat. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- While you are waiting for the soup to reheat you can make the crumble by combining the blue cheese, cilantro, and chile in a small bowl.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with a spoonful of the crumble and serve immediately.