Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten Reveals the Surprising Inspiration Behind Her Chicken Pot Pie Soup Recipe

Ina Garten shared the inspiration behind her chicken pot pie soup recipe and it’s pretty surprising for the Barefoot Contessa star. The origins of her delicious comfort food soup come from spotting it on a menu at an airport restaurant, of all places.

Ina Garten poses with one of her cookbooks in 2018
Ina Garten | Noam Galai/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Ina Garten talks about her recipe inspiration

Garten shared that recipe inspiration comes from different places, writing in her cookbook Modern Comfort Food, “People ask me all the time how I get inspired.”

“The truth is, after writing twelve cookbooks, it’s not always easy to think of new ideas, so I look for inspiration everywhere,” she continues. “A dish I order in a restaurant or specialty food store might intrigue me. I love to cruise grocery stores and farmers’ markets looking for new ingredients like shishito peppers, fig spread, or truffle butter.”

Garten admitted that social media now plays a big role in helping her develop new recipes. “In the past few years, social media has also become one of my biggest sources of inspiration; it’s not uncommon for me to see something on Instagram that gets me running to the kitchen,” the Food Network host admits.

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star found inspiration in a surprising place

When writing about a chicken pot pie soup recipe in her Modern Comfort Food cookbook, Garten shared the surprising way she found inspiration. “This was a little crazy: I was walking through an airport once and spotted chicken pot pie soup on a restaurant menu. What a good idea!” she wrote.

Garten continued, sharing her genius add-on that takes the place of a crust. “It was actually harder to make than it sounded — my first few attempts just tasted like chicken pot pie filling, not soup. This one, though, hit all the right comforting notes, with good chicken stock, roasted chicken, and puff pastry croutons.”

How to make Ina Garten’s chicken pot pie soup

Garten’s recipe takes a bit of time, but there’s nothing fussy about it. She first places chicken on a sheet pan, drizzles it with olive oil, and sprinkles on salt and pepper. She roasts the chicken in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, she makes the puff pastry “croutons” for her soup by unfolding a sheet of frozen puff pastry that’s been defrosted, and rolling it lighly on a floured surface. She uses various shaped cookie cutters to stamp out the dough, then places it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. She makes an egg wash and brushes it over each puff pastry shape and sprinkles them with salt and pepper. Garten refrigerates the puff pastry and later bakes it in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for  8 to 10 minutes.

When the chicken has cooled enough to handle it, she removes the skin, pulls the meat off the bones, and dices it. The soup comes together quickly, beginning with melting butter in a pan and adding chopped leeks, chopped fennel, and diced carrots and sautéing it over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Garten adds minced garlic, chopped tarragon leaves and cooks it for another minute before adding flour, cream sherry, and chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Her recipe includes a piece of parmesan rind that she adds, then boils the mixture before simmering it covered for 20 minutes. Finally, she adds the cooked chicken pieces and frozen peas and pearl onions, then simmers the soup for five more minutes.

Before serving the Barefoot Contessa star removes the parmesan rind, adds more cream sherry and fresh parsley. She serves the soup in a bowl and tops it with two puff pastry croutons.

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