You might not think to put these two together, but we urge you to give it a try. We did, and now there's no turning back; the soup is creamy and light, and the anchovy butter toast is salty and just a little sweet. Together, these two make a killer pair, the perfect meal to celebrate the start of spring, the kind to be eaten by an open window in those lingering rays of light.
A few notes: Don't be put off by the amount of butter -- you won't be eating all of it tonight. If it still bothers you, you can replace some of the butter in the soup with oil (personally, we think it's worth the extra indulgence.) This dinner, although simple, requires a solid hour of your time, plus prepping and chopping. Trust us when we say it's an hour well spent.
1/2 pound celery, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup diced potato
4 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/2 to 1 cup milk (optional)
1 teaspoon dill weed (or 2 teaspoons fresh dill)
2 1/2 tablespoons cream
Baguette or any crusty bread of your liking
We're assuming you have onions, sugar, anchoves, turkey or chicken stock, and 2 sticks of butter. If not, add those to your grocery list, too.
1. For the anchovy butter: Dice one of the onions, then caramelize it slowly over medium heat along with a pinch of sugar and 1 tablespoon of the anchovy oil. Roughly chop 6 anchovies and add to the onion mixture. Take off the heat and let everything cool.
2. Whip up 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter in a mixer until fluffy. Add the onion mixture and mix to combine. Season with pepper and set aside.
3. While the onion caramelizes, start the soup: Stew the celery, the diced half of an onion, and potato gently in 6 tablespoons butter in a covered pan for 10 minutes. Don't let the vegetables brown. Add 4 cups stock and 1/2 teaspoon dill weed. Simmer for 20 minutes if you have a blender, 40 minutes if you use a food mill.
4. Blend or purée the soup. Pour through a strainer into a clean pan (to remove the last few threads of celery), adding a little milk if it's too thick. Slowly bring to just under a boil, seasoning with sealt, pepper, and more dill weed to taste.
5. Put the cream into the soup dish, and pour the soup in on top. Swirl around with a ladle before serving to mix the cream. Serve with the anchovy butter and a toasted baguette.
Photos by James Ransom.