jalapenoqueso frescocorn

Corn Soup with Queso

Corn Soup with Queso

Sopa de Elote con Queso 

Recipe Yield

6 servings

Cooking time

20 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.86 from 7 votes


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles stemmed and finely chopped
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels from 5 to 6 ears of corn or substitute with thawed from frozen
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh epazote leaves chopped, or substitute with cilantro
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced queso fresco

To Prepare

  • In a soup pot set over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. Once it sizzles, add the onion and chile and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until completely wilted and beginning to brown.
  • Add the corn and salt, stir, and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the epazote or cilantro and stir.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Pour the soup into bowls and serve hot. Top with queso fresco.


92comments inCorn Soup with Queso

  1. Irene

    Aug 27

    I just read your recipe and it sounds delicious. Do you think it would be just as good if I shredded some rotisserie chicken into it? I am diabetic and would love to add some protein to your wonderful recipe without ruining it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 04

      Absolutely Irene, such a great addition to this soup, enjoy!

  2. Libby Scribner

    Aug 24

    As a vegetarian who loves Mexican and tex Mexican food I am always trying to make the recipes without meat. I used homemade veggies stock and doubled the corn and added 2 cups of black beans to this yummy soup. I also topped it with the quest fresco and added some Avocado slices. Yummy! Thank you for some simple recipes for me to play with. I’m learning to be a better cook from you.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 04

      Great ideas Libby, thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Devayani Kurlekar

    Jul 17

    I love your show and your recipes. What do you do if you have frozen corn? Can I thaw it and then use it? Would it work? Thank y my so much.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 27

      Of course, frozen corn works as well 🙂

  4. Laura

    Jul 17

    Looks so delicious! I love all your recipes, Pati. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 27

      My pleasure Laura, un abrazo!

  5. mirna

    Jul 15

    my mom do potatos with queso soup….❤️ ❤️ ❤️ igual de delicioso saludos…..

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 27

      Si, que rico!

  6. Teresa

    Jul 15

    One of my family’s favorites. I like to add potatoes.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 27

      Potatoes are a great addition, yay!

  7. Monica Silva

    Feb 16

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS RECIPE! Totally hits the spot on a cold day! We use one serrano chile without seeds and it’s perfect for us gringos 😆

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 09

      So happy to hear you guys liked it, yay!

  8. Sandra Trigueros

    Jan 18

    Esa sopa es con maíz blanco verdad?
    Puede ser de lata y se le puede agregar pollo

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 28

      Si, pero le puedes agregar lo que tu quieras, con pollo, que rico!

  9. Carol Slosberg

    Nov 04

    Would dry epazote work as a substitute for fresh?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 09

      Yes for flavor, just use probably one tablespoon because it is even more pungent when dry 🙂

  10. Caron Edwards

    Oct 09

    I wanted to make a simple soup for 40 migrant Mexican workers and your recipe was a big hit. I’ll make this one again.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 24

      Glad everyone enjoyed it Caron 🙂

  11. Anonymous

    Sep 27

    My picky family said, “the soup was delicioso”!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 11

      Yay, super yay! Gracias 🙂

  12. Lorena Sorensen

    Apr 04

    Sooo good!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 05

      Glad you liked it Lorena 😉

  13. Sonia McKenna

    Feb 16


    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 18

      Yay! 😉

  14. Pat Kennedy

    Feb 04

    Dear Pati,

    I love your recipes, and your shows and especially your cheerfulness! I have a problem. I can not stand the taste of CILANTRO. It tastes like I took a bite of soap! Yuck! It has the same effect on my Son.
    So, what could we substitute it with?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 08

      Most of the time I recommend to leave the cilantro out. Some people think parsley is a good substitute but not really for me 🙂

      1. Mary Orozco

        Jul 15

        Could you use any leafy green, chopped or shredded very fine?

        1. Pati Jinich

          Jul 27

          The epazote leaves have a very fragrant and unique flavor Mary, but if you cannot find it, you could use spinach or kale 🙂

  15. margy

    Sep 19

    Corn Soup with Cheese excellent recipe few ingredients and time to cook in few minutes Great! A+

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 04

      So glad you liked it Margy, thanks!

  16. Benjamin

    May 22

    Just made this after watching it on TV this morning. Simple and tastes great.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 23

      Awesome, thanks so much Benjamin 😉

  17. Alicia Capilla

    Aug 02

    Hi Patti,

    I’m making this tomorrow! looks yummie…..I’ve never made one of your recopies that wasn’t AMAZING…Thanks for sharing your talent and delicious recipes with us.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 04

      Thanks for the kind words Alicia, hope you will love this soup as much as I do 😉

  18. Jeanette in Napa

    Jul 15

    Hello Pati!
    I went to the Mexican market today and as I was reaching for some beautiful peppers, I noticed a small container in the corner of my eye that read “EPAZOTE” in all caps. Having recalled an episode featuring this soup, I reached for it right away and proceeded to make a large pot of it with fresh corn when I got home. We all LOVED every drop of it. Thank you for sharing! I enjoy watching your show very very much.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 19

      So glad you loved epazote Jeanette! It is a very unique herb with a pungently delicious flavor that adds so much to many recipes but it goes especially well with corn and beans. Here a couple of recipes you may want to try if you have any left over: http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/street-corn/ and http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/whole-fried-snapper-with-hibiscus-epazote-and-oregano/

  19. Oriana

    May 27

    Pati, oh how we just love, love, love your soups! ¡Son riquisimos! Would you happen to know where in the Washington, D.C. area can we find epazote leaves to cook this soup? (We are in Silver Spring!) Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 28

      Hi Oriana, thanks so much for your message. We are basically neighbors so I know you will find epazote in every single Latin Market in the area like Bestway, Panam, and the little ones all over the area.

  20. Sarah

    May 06

    Pati thanks for this soup recipe! I never used epazote before I made this, I was really curious to try it and it turned out great! Thanks!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 11

      Love to read this Sarah, epazote is one of my favorite herbs, thank you!

  21. Missy

    May 02

    This was a winner with the whole family!! Husband, 13 year old, 8 year old and 10 month old!! (Mama too!)

    WOW! We used a poblano pepper for less heat (as the 8 year old will not tolerate spice) and the baby can’t do onions so I sub celery and garlic as my “fake onion.” It was still SO DELICIOUS! We all love watching your beautiful show! Thank you!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 04

      Very creative subs Missy, glad the whole family enjoyed this soup 😉

  22. Jessica

    May 02

    Pati, I was watching the episode when you make this recipe and I got inspired to make it. Instead of serrano, I added poblano chile and potatoes. It came out delicious! Thanks!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 04

      Bravo Jessica, good additions!

  23. Sara J. Rodriguez

    Jan 12

    Couldn’t find epazote leaves, so I had to use cilantro. ☹
    Haven’t made it yet though… Wish me lol…
    I’m sure it will be delicious, as always.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 13

      Cilantro will be great too….good luck, Sara!

  24. Alex Vega

    Sep 13

    This soup looked so simple but tasty, I had to try it! I’m a little bit weak when it comes to spice so I used half of 1 Serrano chili, and it still had a kick for me, but it was absolutely delicious, I fought through it, haha! My husband really loves spice though! And the queso fresco is a MUST! Love it!
    Thank you so much for this recipe, Pati!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 24

      So glad you and your husband enjoyed the soup, Alex!

  25. Janet

    Sep 05

    I made this soup today and thought it was delicious. I did make one change. Whenever I cut corn kernels off the cob, I boil the cobs to make stock. I use this stock in place of water or vegetable broth in soups, particularly in soups with corn. Since I didn’t have enough chicken broth on hand, I used some of the corn stock in my soup. I think it probably enhanced the corn flavor. Of course, I also used fresh corn from a local farm that always has excellent corn so I am sure that also contributed to the flavor of a great recipe.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 07

      That’s a great addition to use your corn stock, Janet!

  26. Barry Browner

    Aug 27


    I made this today… Subtly elegant. I used 1 serrano. Couldn’t find epazote in Chapel Hill… so I added about 1/3t ground coriander. I couldn’t remember yes or no… so I added 3 garlic cloves. My wife thought it could be a bit thicker… so I added corn starch for a little thickening. It all tastes great. Having it tonight with fried catfish.

    Miss not seeing your show. PBS in Chapel Hill is not showing you lately. Bummer!


    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 28

      Oh I’ll be back in October, Barry! And I’m so glad you and your wife enjoyed the soup.

  27. Joanie

    Aug 25

    This is my husband’s (and my) new favorite!
    We made this according to the recipe, except we has a 40oz bag of frozen corn so we added another tablespoon of butter and extra epazote. (We were surprised to see beautiful fresh bunches in our local Mexican Grocery store).
    We had never heard of epazote and were pleasantly surprised to smell its lemony/minty aroma right off the bat. The flavor is perfect for this soup. ❤️
    We were wondering if epazote might be a good substitute for the poor folks that don’t like the flavor of cilantro?
    In Pico de Gallo?
    Thank you for your show! We love you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 27

      Oh I’m so glad you found and enjoyed epazote, Joanie! You can substitute cilantro with any fresh green herb you enjoy, like epazote or Italian flat-leaf parsley, chives, basil, or tarragon.

  28. Catherine Nelson

    Aug 24

    Have you ever added shrimp or chicken to this? It sounds delicious and I love your show, especially when your boys are on with you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 25

      Go for it, Catherine! Shrimp or chicken would be great with this soup.

  29. Missy

    Aug 24

    I have fresh culantrothat I grow. Can I use that. Or dried epezote i have in a jar.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 24

      You can use either, Missy. If you use dried epazote, use about 1/3 of the amount.

  30. Bobbi

    Aug 22


    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 23


  31. Sandy

    Jul 23

    I love your show Pati. I can’t wait to try this soup. It looks so good. I think I’ll use the corn cobs after taking the kernels off to infuse the broth with even more corn flavor.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 24

      Great idea, Sandy!

  32. Elaine B

    Mar 09

    A lovely soup for a for a sunny spring day. This was so fun to shop for! My fiancé is from Monterrey and I enjoy when he takes me to the Latin super markets to shop. Super simple to make and packed with all the right indgredienta to warm you up when it’s brisk outside.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 18

      It sounds like you had so much fun making (and eating 😉) the soup, Elaine!

  33. Cynthia Stevens

    Nov 09

    iHola Pati! Have you ever tried this recipe with grilled corn?

    1. Pati

      Nov 10

      Oh that will be delicious, Cynthia!

  34. Hafeezah Majeed

    Oct 25

    Hi Pati
    I watch you and your family on Create TV all the time !! In my head I’m your other sister. I made this soup it was Sooo good . Thank you

    1. Pati

      Oct 26

      Aww thank you so much, Hafeezah.

  35. Cherie

    Jun 30

    Hi Pati, I made this tonight for my daughter and I and it was so delicious! I have been in a food rut of the same few recipes and watching your show and seeing your recipes has pulled me out of it! Thank you!

    1. Pati

      Jul 02

      So happy to help you out of your food rut, Cherie!

  36. Rayna Bolich

    Jun 07

    Hola Pati, I have been wanting to make this soup ever since I saw it on your show. You made it look so easy and delicious to prepare; it did not disappoint! The sweetness of the corn, the saltiness of the broth, the creaminess of the cheese, and the fresh zing from the cilantro and jalapeño (no time to visit Mexican market for epazote but happy to use cilantro from our yard) – mmm, happy tummies all around the table. Even my son said “Thank you Pati”.

    1. Pati

      Jun 08

      Awesome! And say hello to your son for me, Rayna.

  37. Colleen

    May 18

    When I was making this I had thought for sure it would need something and I always end up changing recipe.s I did add two cloves of chopped up garlic and some cumin seeds when you put the corn in. I also use vegetable broth not chicken it was so freaking good I’m gonna be making this for a while now and didn’t need a thing except for those things I added it probably would be good without it but I think I just took it up a little notch

    1. Pati

      May 18

      I’m so glad you made the recipe your own, Colleen!

  38. Rebecca

    Apr 29

    So fresh and savory too.Easy to prepare, everyone loved it!

    1. Pati

      Apr 30

      So happy to hear that, Rebecca!

  39. Ari

    Mar 10

    Excellent soup! Feliz de comer cositas oaxaqueñas!

    1. Pati

      Mar 12


      1. Anirudh

        Apr 07

        Is this soup from Oaxaca?

        1. Pati

          Apr 13

          Yes! I first tried a version of it in Tlaxiaco, which is in the Mixteca Alta región from Oaxaca.

  40. Krystyna

    Jan 20

    My Mexican girlfriends (and I) LOVED the soup! We even watched the episode on my DVR while eating. You have 2 new fans.

    1. Pati

      Jan 22

      Oh thank you Krystyna! (and say thank you to your friend too!)

  41. Martin

    Dec 28

    Please please please…show us how to make caldo de res. I cannot remember if u put cabbage or calabacita or both and what kind of beef do u use, etc. Also, is it basically the same recipie for caldo de pollo? BTW, the leche quemada ice cream looks very good. My parents love leche quemada and I think the kids will love the ice cream version.

    Ur show is the best! Saludos desde Texas!

    1. Pati

      Jan 08

      ​Aw, thank you so much! In a way yes, it is similar to a caldo de pollo, but sometimes with a bit more spices or a dried chile or two. Do you want to try mole de olla which is similar? http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/mole-de-olla-2/ Will try to post a traditional caldo de res recipe soon!​

  42. Danielle

    Dec 24

    Can you freeze this soup?

    1. Pati

      Jan 08

      Absolutely! But don’t freeze it with the cheese…add the cheese fresh when you are ready to serve it.

  43. gloria1949@hotmail.com

    Dec 24

    What can be substituted for epazote?

    1. Pati

      Dec 26

      If you can’t find fresh or dried epazote you can use fresh cilantro…it is a different taste but also delicious!

  44. adriana v

    Dec 15

    my family loved the corn soup

    1. Pati

      Dec 15


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