Garlic Bread Bowls Take Everything Up A Notch

As a general rule, if your meal includes bread, turning it into garlic bread is going to be a good idea. Making a breakfast sandwich with some sourdough? Garlic bread will make it better. Grilled cheese a little boring? You see where this is going. Garlic bread is such a simple concoction, but place a plate of it on any table and watch everyone who didn't know it was coming light up. The fluffy interior and crunchy toasted crust — a little buttery, a little salty — and an overdose of one of the world's favorite flavors ... what's not to love? The only real question is how can we get more garlic bread in our lives? And that is where a bread bowl comes in.

Bread bowls are already fun treats, but turning them into garlic bread bowls actually helps them elevate a meal from novelty to something special. The flavor scale is normally tilted decidedly in favor of the soup, with the bread mostly acting as a vessel for texture. Garlic bread bowls put both halves of the equation on equal ground, making for a far more robust experience. Garlic, butter, and herbs create a flavor profile that already complements a massive variety of dishes, so you can pair your new and improved bread bowl with almost any soup or filling you want. As a little bonus, toasting your bread bowl beforehand helps firm up the interior, so your filling won't seep out before you get to eating the inside.

Pair garlic bread bowls with your favorite soups or other saucy fillings

To prepare a garlic bread bowl, start with a small white bread loaf or sourdough boule from the grocery store. Make a garlic butter by mixing room temperature butter with minced garlic and salt, along with any optional additions you prefer like parsley, red pepper flakes, or grated parmesan cheese. First, cut a circle out of the center of the loaf to make a bowl. Spread the garlic butter around the interior, then use any leftover to rub on the exterior crust of the bread — you're going to want garlic bread flavor in every bite. Bake the bowl in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the interior starts to turn golden brown. You can also use the bread you cut out of the bowl to make croutons to top your soup.

As for the actual soup, two great choices are French onion soup or a creamy tomato, both of which will pair great with the garlic, and will still make a full meal because of the filling bread. Soups like clam or corn chowder are also wonderful, and will provide creamy broth for dipping. And you don't need to stick to soups either; garlic bread bowls work with dips, or with Italian stuffing like meatballs, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. Just don't go too heavy with the filling, because for once you'll want to fill up on bread.