Ina Garten Says Her Chicken Potpie Soup Is "the Ultimate" Comfort Food on a Cold Day
If you hadn't heard, today is Ina Garten's birthday. While we could celebrate with some sweet treats, like her Honey Bourbon Cake or toast-worthy Pomegranate Gimlets, we're more tempted by the recipe Garten shared today on Instagram: her Chicken Pot Pie Soup.
This creamy soup is packed with veggies—including some frozen peas and pearl onions to cut down on prep time—and fresh herbs for lots of flavor. Fans who've already made the recipe from Garten's book Modern Comfort Food (buy it: $19, Amazon) praised the soup in the comments, with one person noting that "our family loves this soup." Another said that "this is my favorite chicken soup, as evidenced by the sherry-spattered cookbook pages."
To whip up a pot of this soup, you'll need about three pounds of skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts, olive oil, salt, pepper, butter, three chopped leeks, two chopped fennel bulbs, five diced medium carrots, three cloves of fresh garlic, fresh tarragon leaves, chicken stock, a Parmesan cheese rind, frozen peas, frozen pearl onions and fresh parsley. It's by no means a short list, but you may have some of these veggies and pantry staples on hand already.
There are two more ingredients that might need a little extra explanation. You'll need a quarter cup of Wondra flour (buy it: $12 for two, Amazon), which you can find on the flour aisle at your local grocery store. Wondra flour is a finely ground pre-cooked flour, which means it dissolves in liquid almost instantly, no sifting required. If you'd rather not buy a canister of Wondra, you could probably skip the special flour and replace it with a small amount of cornstarch slurry. Just mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with some cold water to create a paste and add it to your soup. If you want a thicker soup, add another slurry.
You'll also need some cream sherry for this recipe. Unlike dry sherry or cooking sherry, cream sherry is sweet—if you don't want to go hunt down a bottle, Cook's Illustrated recommends substituting dry sherry one-for-one, with one teaspoon of dark brown sugar stirred in for sweetness for every quarter cup you use. So for this recipe, you would use ¾ cup of dry sherry with three teaspoons of dark brown sugar dissolved in before adding.
To make Ina's potpie soup recipe, begin by roasting the chicken breasts skin-side up and seasoned with salt and pepper in the oven at 350°F for about 35 minutes. Discard the bones and dice the chicken into bite-size pieces once it's cool enough to handle. (If you're in a rush, you could always sub in some rotisserie chicken with the skin removed.)
Next, in your soup pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Then add the leeks, fennel and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and tarragon and cook for another minute. Sprinkle in the Wondra flour—or add your cornstarch slurry—and cook for another two minutes, stirring constantly.
Add some of the sherry, the stock, salt, pepper and the Parmesan rind. (Consider storing your leftover Parmesan rinds in a bag in your freezer for moments like these.) Let the soup simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
While the soup simmers, you'll want to get started on this soup's adorable finishing touch: puff pastry croutons. To make them, roll out a sheet of puff pastry to smooth out the creases. Using a cookie cutter, like one from this set of hearts for Valentine's Day, cut out 12 shapes and place them on a sheet pan. Brush the tops with an egg wash made of the beaten egg and a splash of cream. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes.
To finish off the soup, add the chicken, peas and onions and continue simmering, uncovered, for five minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the Parmesan rind and pour in the last of the sherry. Top the soup with chopped parsley and serve with those buttery, flaky puff pastry croutons. This cozy and delicious meal sounds like the perfect way to celebrate the Barefoot Contessa's big day.
If you love this recipe, you might want to try some other favorite soup-ified dishes, like our Lasagna Soup, Creamy Mac & Cheese Soup or Stuffed Cabbage Soup. No matter what you choose, just be sure to raise a glass to the queen of East Hampton herself, Ina Garten.