A native English teacher is in a video making a soup, while also teaching words and phrases especially about cooking. Cooking vocabulary (see 17:05-17:10) And amongst many other phrases, he also mentioned about a phrase "to butter up someone" and gave the following sentence as an example of buttering up someone (himself in this case). He said a student might say the following in order to butter up:
That is a lovely soup you are making.
I read the sentence. The structure of the sentence seemed interesting to me, because I as a non-native speaker, I would simply think the speaker likes the smell/appearance/kind of that soup. I would not think of using such a structure, but I would probably form a simpler sentence:
You are making a lovely soup.
I wouldn't think of his structure "That is a lovely soup you are making.". Even if I did, I wouldn't imagine it having a meaning of "buttering up". I would think it is another way of saying "I like the smell of the soup" or "You are making a lovely soup".
Now, I wonder if I say to someone, "That is a beautiful hat you are wearing", am I buttering up the wearer or am I simply saying "I like your hat".