Really simple. Really good. Anchovy Froth is a cheat’s Hollandaise to be honest. It is optional but worth the hassle.
175 g butter
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 400 g can haricot or cannellini beans
400 ml milk
600 ml chicken or vegetable stock
300 g young leaf spinach, washed
3 egg yolks
3 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the soup, peel and chop the onion and garlic and melt 25 g of the butter in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook without colour for 5-6 minutes until softened. Rinse the beans and add them to the pot with the milk and stock Season.
Bring to a boil, stir in the spinach and remove from heat. Leave to cool slightly, then puree in a liquidizer or food processor until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a clean pan. Check for seasoning and grate in nutmeg to taste.
Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan until it starts to boil. Chop the anchovies and whiz with the egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until pale and creamy and then slowly pour in the hot butter with the motor running until the sauce thickens. Season to taste adding a pinch of cayenne and more lemon juice if needed.
Reheat the soup and serve each bowl with a swirl of anchovy froth with the rest on the side.
From my Cheat’s Dinner Party column in Stella. (Sunday Telegraph)
Cheat’s Dinner Party Stella 28th February 2010.