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Panera Bread’s Street Corn Soup

Based on the vibrant flavors of elote, or Mexican street corn, this soup packs a punch while wrapping you in a blanket of creamy goodness. And guess what? If you’re a fan of the soups Panera Bread offers, you’re going to adore this Panera copycat recipe. It’s quick, hearty, easy, delicious, and has a bit of a spicy kick!

A bowl of Street Corn Soup on a white plate.

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I love this soup. More importantly, I love NOT having to pay for it at Panera Bread! This Panera Bread copycat Street Corn Soup is every bit as delicious, and you can make it for less than the cost of 1 lunch out!

You can use fresh or frozen corn in this easy soup recipe, and it’s full of flavor! Big, bold Southwestern flavors from chilies and spices infuse every bite, and you can even make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken.

What You’ll Love About Mexican Street Corn Soup


  • A hint of Southwestern spices makes every spoonful exciting.
  • Authentic flavors make this a must-try for Mexican and Tex-Mex food fans.
  • It’s easy to make, whether you’re using fresh or frozen corn kernels, and is ready in under 30 minutes.
  • It’s a comforting dish that’s perfect as a starter or the main event.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Corn kernels – Fresh or frozen.
  • Shallot – Chopped.
  • Garlic cloves – Fresh; minced.
  • Jalapeno – Diced, or diced poblano chilies.
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Chicken broth – I use low-or no-sodium added to control the salt. Use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian.
  • Milk
  • Cream – Heavy whipping cream or even half and half adds a bit of richness.
  • Red bell pepper

Optional garnishes:

  • Cilantro – Chopped
  • Pepita seeds
  • Crispy tortilla strips
  • Crumbled cotija cheese
A list of ingredients for corn on the cob.

How to make the best Mexican Street Corn Soup

  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot, then add and cook the shallots until softened for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the diced jalapeno or poblano chilies and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the corn kernels and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or blender, then return to the soup pot and add milk and cream. Bring the soup to a boil and turn it down to a simmer.
  7. Add the diced red bell pepper, then simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.
  9. Garnish with cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, pepita seeds, or tortilla strips and serve! Enjoy!

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • If using frozen corn, there’s no need to thaw it beforehand. It will thaw as it cooks in the soup but your soup will need an extra minute or two to come to a boil.
  • For a smokier flavor, try roasting the cobs of corn on the grill and then cutting it off the cob to add to the soup. You can also grill the chilies and red bell pepper beforehand.
  • Adding a splash of fresh lime juice just before serving brightens up the flavors beautifully.
  • If you like a chunkier soup, don’t puree all the corn. Leave some whole for texture.

Make It A Meal

This Mexican Street Corn Soup pairs wonderfully with a simple green salad with a great dressing, or perhaps some quesadillas. If you’re going all out, consider serving it as a starter before a main course of carnitas or tacos.

storage

Refrigerate cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you’re meal-prepping this soup and want to freeze it, omit the milk and cream before doing so. When you’re ready to enjoy the soup, thaw it overnight in the fridge, reheat it on the stove, and then add the milk and cream as the original recipe instructs.

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A bowl of soup on a white plate.
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4.90 from 48 votes

Copycat Panera Bread’s Mexican Street Corn Soup

Loaded with creamy flavor and plenty of corn, this copycat Panera Bread recipe for Street Corn Soup is a quick and easy fix that's oh-so satisfying. It's got a bit of heat, too, that you can punch up for even more flavor!
Course Soup, Soups & Stews
Cuisine Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword bacon soup, corn, panera, panera bread street corn soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 346kcal
Author Chef Jenn

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 5-6 cups corn fresh or frozen
  • cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup red bell pepper diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro optional garnish
  • ¼ cup crispy tortilla chips optional garnish
  • ¼ cup cotija cheese optional garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a soup pot, then add and cook the shallots until softened for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the diced jalapeno or poblano chilies and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the corn kernels and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or blender, then return to the soup pot and add milk and cream. Bring the soup to a boil and turn it down to a simmer.
  • Add the diced red bell pepper, then simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, pepita seeds, or tortilla strips and serve! Enjoy!

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • If using frozen corn, there’s no need to thaw it beforehand. It will thaw as it cooks in the soup but your soup will need an extra minute or two to come to a boil.
  • For a smokier flavor, try roasting the cobs of corn on the grill and then cutting it off the cob to add to the soup. You can also grill the chilies and red bell pepper beforehand.
  • Adding a splash of fresh lime juice just before serving brightens up the flavors beautifully.
  • If you like a chunkier soup, don’t puree all the corn. Leave some whole for texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 351mg | Potassium: 711mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1314IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 2mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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3 thoughts on “Panera Bread’s Street Corn Soup”

  1. 5 stars
    The soup was amazing! It was my first attempt making it and your instructions were wonderful. I’ll be adding this delicious recipe to our regular meal rotation this winter.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I love Panera Bread’s street corn soup, but have to be careful how much dairy I consume. What I love about this recipe is that I can easily make it at home and substitute dairy-free milk and cream. And, while I’m at it, I double the jalapeno. 😉 It tastes every bit as good as the original at Panera!

    Reply

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