Because Life with Kids is Sticky...Very Sticky

Lucy Mercer

Lucy Mercer
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
December 31
I cook, I write, I carpool. You may also find my words at A Cook and Her Books. Email acookandherbooks@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting!


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JANUARY 10, 2011 8:58AM

The weatherman was right

Rate: 14 Flag

The weatherman was right: the predicted snowy apocalypse arrived overnight and I woke up in a winter wonderland. Our little corner of the woods is pristine when covered in snow.

I've lived in the South all my life and have never seen as much snow as in the past year - I think this is the fifth time that school has been canceled because the roads are impassable. The morning news is filled with warnings to stay off the roads and stay home. My Facebook friends are agonizing over how to entertain the kids and telling tales of power failures. I toss another log on the fire and decide to make soup.

My favorite soup book (and really one of my all-time favorite cookbooks) is Crescent Dragonwagon's Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread. If you're not familiar with Dragonwagon, who was born Ellen Zolotow, check out her blog where she explains her whimsical name. She wrote this book when she owned the Dairy Hollow House bed and breakfast in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. In fact, she was called the "Alice Waters of the Ozarks" during this time. Crescent Dragonwagon is more than a great cook, she's a great writer, and I want to cook just about everything in this book.

Soup is the ticket when a snowstorm hits, and because I'm not a fan of last-minute grocery store runs, I rely on my pantry to feed my family. Instead of pulling out the carnelian can of Campbell's, I reach for a can of tomatoes and make homemade tomato soup to serve with a pan of Crescent's Skillet-Sizzled Buttermilk Cornbread.

Snow Day Tomato Soup
adapted from Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Cookbook

1/2 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 cup whole milk

Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and sautee onion until softened, about five minutes. Add diced tomatoes, brown sugar, bay leaf, and dried basil. Let this come to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and let bubble away for about 10 minutes.

2. Remove bay leaf and discard. Puree mixture in either a food processor or with an immersion blender. Return mixture to pot and gradually add milk Season to taste and serve.

Text & images © 2011, Lucy Mercer.

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My friend Nancy is in your area and digging herself out or staying in the house.
Wish I lived near her to bring her this soup.
Stay warm and safe.
rated with hugs
We've got lots of snow too and it's really cold. Tomato soup would hit the spot-R-
Good one! I see you posted soup, after all.
For some reason, my post isn't showing up on the open call radar, dunno. Ohwell.
Looks much better than the view from my window.
Soup sounds great!!
this i can try!
I love that avatar of yours, every time I see the laughing girl it makes me want to smile to. That particular post had some of the loveliest b & w pics I've ever seen.
Hot tomato soup on a snowy day - now that's comfort food. Looks good in the plate; feels better in the tummy. Thanks for the blog link.
Wow, I heard it might snow in Atlanta, but I pictured a few little flurries--I had no idea it would stick! I'm glad you decided to make a cozy celebration of this weather "emergency." Stay warm!
Yes! I have been looking for a good tomato soup recipe (the last one I tried was a terrible failure), and this looks like the ticket. (It's cool that it's so easy too!) Excellent writing as usual, Lucy.
As delightful as that looks, my devotion to the tomato soup of my childhood is unshakable. Campbells, made with milk, and drizzled with crushed Saltines takes me home. But I will use this as a base for a delightful tomato based soup - I have some leftovers that need to hit the soup pot tonight and those bits of veggies and pot roast will be mmm-mmm-good with some skillet cornbread on the side. Thanks Lucy, stay warm and off the ice (it was the ice, not the snow, that nearly killed me the years I lived in ATL ;)
No snow here, just dark dreary skies and freezing rain. Tomato soup sounds just heavenly right about now, and I haven't read anything about Crescent Dragonwagon and now I want to know more!
The woods look lovely with all that snow. You know how to make the best of a snow day. The addition of brown sugar into the tomato soup sounds wonderfully rich. My kids will actually eat tomato soup so I'm going to come back to this one.
Thanks, everyone, for the sweet comments. I forgot to add a caption that the snow pictures are taken from my front porch. It's covered, so I don't have to get too far out in the cold. I don't do cold, which is not good, because it looks like we're in for a few more days at home.

Bellwether, and really everyone else, I can't recommend Crescent Dragonwagon's cookbooks enough. She's a vegetarian - I've cooked many recipes from her books and haven't hit a clunker yet.
Fabulous post, Lucy. We've been eating soup over here on the East side of Atlanta for the last two days, too. Haven't made tomato yet, though, so this could be tomorrow's lunch. And I'm headed to Dragonwagon's blog now... :)
Lucy, I feel jealous of your snow day! The soup looks just perfect for the weather. Stay toasty!
Sounds tasty Lucy. I make one similar to that except I use buckwheat honey instead of brown sugar, some minced garlic and a heavier hand with the seasonings. I have yet to hear anyone complain about too much basil or bay leaf.

Good thing I'm not a family member. Boy would I be fat.
You had me at "Dragonwagon". This soup sounds good - I may give it a try! Enjoy being snowed in, and be careful if you drive - I grew up in GA and have a healthy fear of black ice, which I'm sure you do, too. So that means I'm just nagging...oh dear...I think I need to go try to make a bowl of that soup....
Lucy, I just wanted to thank you again for this recipe. It is the grail of tomato soup recipes. Just made some today and it was perfect in the rain too~