Zucchini: Mexican Creamy Zucchini Corn Soup – Sopa de Calabacitas

It’s hinting of fall here in Colorado – crisp mornings and more frequent cool evenings. During the day, there’s still plenty of sunshine to keep my garden growing. And, that of course, means more zucchini.

This recipe for sopa de calabacitas y elote, Mexican zucchini corn soup, is simple and perfect for an almost-fall evening.

The recipe is mine but was inspired by a creamy zucchini soup I ate many, many years ago in Cuernavaca, Mexico. At the time, I left my gig in Austin, Texas to study and travel in Mexico. It was a life-changing experience – my first time traveling abroad. I lived part of the time with a local family and lucky for me, in addition to improving my Spanish, I dined on some amazing food.

I credit Josephina, the mujer de the casa (lady of the house), with introducing me to a vast repertoire of Mexican cuisine. She made exquisite meals every day – sometimes made with fancy ingredients and preparations and other times simple. Our main meal of the day was served early afternoon and almost always started with sopa (soup).

One day she prepared a creamy zucchini soup that I immediately adored – simple, light and comforting.

Her version was a pureed zucchini with stock and cream (which could easily be adapted from the recipe below). My version has additional texture from the corn and diced zucchini, plus fresh cilantro.

Enjoy summer’s bounty these last few weeks.

Mexican Zucchini Corn Soup – Sopa de Calabacitas y Elote

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup onion, diced small

4 cups zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 large garlic clove, minced

4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups corn (about 3 cobs)

1 cup zucchini, diced finely

1/4 cup crema Mexicana or cream

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Method

  1. In a medium stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil and onions – saute until onions become translucent. Add 4 cups zucchini – saute for several minutes until the zucchini barely start to brown and begin to become tender. Add garlic – saute about one minute, stirring frequently so that it does not burn. Add stock and salt – bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until zucchini is completely tender.
  2. Puree with a hand emulsifier (or blender in batches).
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix about 1 cup of the pureed soup with the crema (cream) – mix well with a whisk or the emulsifier to incorporate. Slowly return the creamy mixture to the soup, mixing well.
  4. Add the corn and finely diced zucchini – simmer another 5 minutes – until the zucchini are barely tender. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot or room temperature as a first course or side, garnished with fresh cilantro. For an extra elegant presentation, also garnish with a fresh zucchini flower (flor de calabaza).

Variation

Protein: add shrimp or white fish

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22 Responses to Zucchini: Mexican Creamy Zucchini Corn Soup – Sopa de Calabacitas

  1. fresh365 says:

    Yum! I was going to make a corn soup with the fresh vegis I received this week. Love the addition of crema Mexicana. I have never used that, but will have to find some!

  2. This soup looks very, very good — just right for the first days of autumn.

    Is that a round Mexican squash in your photo? In our part of Mexico, on the west coast, the small, round squashes are called calabacita bola.True zucchini, which I love, is very hard to come by in Mexico. I miss it.

    Kathleen

  3. kkryno says:

    I love soup, particularly with this time of year. This one looks hearty and I think it’ll become one of our favorites.

    It looks splendid!

  4. I made zuccini flower soup!! If you have the chance to buy them you have to try this recipe! I featured it on my blog!!.. Your soup looks amazing!! so creamy!

  5. @Fresh365- Depending on where you live you can find crema Mexicana at Mexican/Latin American markets and some mainstream stores as well. If you can’t find, I’ve also used regular cream successfully.

    @Kathleen: The golf ball zucchini came from my garden – and was much bigger than that when I found it. It made 4 cups diced zucchini. My girlfriend grows heirloom seeds and said this variety is Tondo di Toscana – an Italian variety. Although it appears to be quite similar to the calabacita bola – mild and sweeter than the regular straight zucchini – although those can be used to make this soup too.

    @kkryno – This soup is gorgeous. Elegant enough for a first course and very easy to make. It’s not thick and is actually a lighter soup. If you want a thicker puree – reduce the stock by one cup.

    @chocolate freckles – I still have zucchini growing. I think it would a fantastic idea to garnish the soup with a flor de calabaza and just edited my recipe to reflect that. I’ll check out your soup too.

  6. Mmm. Mouth watering. Looks and sounds right up my alley. I even have one of those round zukes in my fridge. I was in Cuernavaca as a child with my family, and we had a luxurious lunch on the patio of Las Mañanitas with the peacocks. I’ve always wanted to go back.

  7. I like your version of corn soup and am definitely going to have to try it. I like the addition of the zucchini and the color that it brings to the soup. I’ve never cooked with Mexican crema either…I’ve just spooned it on top of things. This is on my must do list.

  8. sippitysup says:

    Zucchini and corn seems like a perfect combo. Why haven’t I ever thought of that? GREG

  9. I adore sopas…this looks like comfort food to me. I’m definitely going to try making your soup. Just lovely.

  10. Chris says:

    This is a great use of zucchini and the soup looks gorgeous! I really like that idea of adding a few grilled shrimp to each bowl.

  11. I love zucchini soup! and the corn makes it soooo creamy!! Isn’t this so comforting to have in a cold day? :)

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