Ina Garten’s Tiny Trick Will Have You Using Cookie Cutters for Soup — Yes, Soup

published Feb 2, 2022
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Soups and stews are great, but what really makes them shine are the toppings. A creamy tomato soup is great with some freshly grated cheese, chili is exponentially better with sliced scallions and a dollop of sour cream, and something as simple as a drizzle of olive oil, some cracked black pepper, or a swirl of yogurt can instantly elevate a simple bowl of butternut squash soup

In a surprise to no one, Ina Garten is also a fan of soup toppers. One of the things Ina is best at is sharing easy ways to elevate your cooking, which brings me to one of my favorite Ina tricks: puff pastry croutons. I discovered this gem when I was skimming through her cookbook  Modern Comfort Food  and saw the puffy little cutouts on her Chicken Pot Pie Soup — and I was reminded of it today when Ina posted about it on her Insta! They’re delicious and easy, and are the perfect way to dress up whatever soup or stew you’re cooking.

Use Your Cookie Cutters to Make Homemade Croutons

To make these carby toppers, you need to break out the cookie cutters! Yes, you heard that right: Cookie cutters are great around the holidays, but they’re also super handy for making homemade croutons for soups, stews, or a Caesar salad.

Ina’s chicken pot pie soup captures the flavors of traditional chicken pot pie but in the form of a silky smooth soup with just the right texture. And because pot pie isn’t complete without the pastry topping, Ina adds the puff pastry croutons on top! To make them, Ina defrosts a sheet of store-bought puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight. After defrosting the puff pastry, Ina uses round fluted, heart-shaped, and star-shaped cookie cutters (though I’ll definitely be trying it out with a few other fun shapes!) to create the cutouts. She then brushes the shapes with an egg wash, seasons with salt and pepper, and bakes them until golden brown and puffed up. 

Not only is this idea simple, but it’s also a great way to add some whimsy to what could otherwise just be considered a run-of-the-mill soup, or to get picky eaters just a tad bit more excited to eat greens. We can always count on Ina for quality cooking advice, tasty yet elegant dishes, the recipe for a perfectly sized cosmopolitan — and, now, the secret to a star-quality soup topper.