My friends who live in LA sleep at night with an Earthquake Go-Bag under their beds. This includes heavy bottomed shoes (I think because LA gals sleep in stilettos), water, cash, canned food, flashlight etc. Everything they might need to evacuate quickly and survive for a few days following a devastating quake.
Over the holidays at Henri Bendel they were selling NYC emergency kits. Similar to the California quake kit…only very different. Instead of canned beans and a flashlight, it includes a metro card, hair bands, breath freshener, bandages, deodorant towelettes, pain relievers and some other girl stuff…
I’m not really sure what our emergency kit vs the CA one says. Maybe in New York waking up smelly, gently wounded and needing to take the subway constitutes an ‘emergency’. It might. It’s no earthquake, but it is an emergency and Henri Bendel has the solution.
For people who cook, that go-bag or emergency kit translates to a go-meal; one that is ready to serve with very little notice…
At about 6pm on New Year’s Eve after a champagne boozy lunch, my friends decided that they would come over to my apartment for dinner. OK. I had :65 minutes to prepare for the arrival of hungry guests.
I went to my go-to’s and quickly shopped for what I would need to prepare Chicken Milanese, salad, garlic bread, pasta…
And, luckily, I had a go-soup in my fridge. The day before I tweaked an Ina Garten recipe and made…
Cream of Tomato Soup (serves 6-7)
3 TBSP olive oil
- 1 Red Onion Diced
- 2 large Carrots Peeled and Diced
- 1 Sweet Potato – peeled, diced and roasted
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 6-7 Medium vine-ripened tomatoes Chopped
- 1 TSP Sugar
- 1/2 TBSP Amore Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
- 3 Cups Chicken Stock – I used Whole Foods 365 Brand – I know I know, I should make my own…but didn’t
- 1/2 TBSP Kosher Salt
- 1 TSP Freshly Ground Pepper
- 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium/low heat. I used my Le Creuset 6 qt one – it’s just so pretty and so easy to clean!
2. Add the onions and carrots and saute until very tender – be patient, this takes a while – :15-:17 mins.
- In hindsight, I would have chopped the carrots smaller so that they might soften more quickly.
3. While that’s happening…Place the diced sweet potatoes on a sheet pan lined with Reynold’s Wrap Pan Lining Paper in one layer and sprinkle with olive oil. DO NOT SALT.
4. Put in the oven and roast for :10mins – Toss and then roast an additional :05-:07 mins until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
5. Into the Le Creuset – Add the minced garlic to the softened onion and carrots and saute until fragrant – about 1 minute
6. Add the tomatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt and pepper and stir well.
7. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for :40mins – until the tomatoes are very tender
8. Add the cream to the soup and stir
9. If you have an immersion blender…great…But since I don’t – I set up a blending station by the stove on my counter
NOTE: Ina used her food mill…but, seriously, in my apt – no room for a food mill.
10. Most importantly…LET THE SOUP COOL before blending. Cuz like if you put hot soup in a blender and turn it on, it will blow the top off and there will be quasi blended hot soup everywhere…
11. In stages, ladle some of the soup into the blender and puree until smooth.
12. Transfer the pureed soup into a second soup pot and keep warm
13. Repeat until all of the soup is smooth and creamy
NOTE: If you like it spicy….Add a dash or two of Gindo’s Spice of Life Fresh and Spicy Pepper Sauce.
The soup was a great intro to the Chicken Milanese. And, with my ‘stick your head out the window-view’ of the Central Park fireworks and the impromptu late night dance party…The last-minute dinner party was a success.
I don’t have much of a need for the Henri Bendel NYC Emergency Kit because – and I’m not judging – I don’t tend to wake up slightly wounded, smelly and not at home…but a good batch of emergency go-soup in the fridge does come in handy.