Bowled Over

Bowled Over: Swallow Soup brings home-cooked goodness to doorsteps in Asheville
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Traditional recipe for gourmet soup: Buy fresh local ingredients. Chop. Slice. Dice. Mince. Mix. Boil. Simmer.

New recipe for gourmet soup: Log on. Order. Heat. Serve. The latest model is catching on in Asheville as Swallow Soup begins its second season of home-delivered meals this fall. The brainchild of Mary Kelley, Swallow Soup launched last year, and the success was almost predictable. “I love to cook, and my soups were always popular with my family and friends,” she says. “So this seemed like a natural progression.”

For Kelley, soup season begins with the falling leaves in October and runs through the winter snows and March winds. It ends when the daffodils begin to bloom. “Soup is definitely an indoor sport,” she says. “When the weather calls people outside it’s time for soup to take a long summer vacation.”

During the season, Kelley prepares two vegetarian or vegan options each week. She posts the flavors on her website, takes orders, and delivers on Thursdays. Clients receive a quart of chilled soup, plus bread and salad for $16. She says a quart makes four appetizers or two main courses. Her offerings include such exotic choices as Indonesian carrot-coconut, Malaysian cabbage-peanut, or Thai red curry-squash. For the more traditional appetite, she offers black bean, sweet potato, and vegan gumbo.

Kelley agreed to share one of her cooking secrets: coriander. “If a soup seems dull or unimaginative, I add a little coriander. It never dominates the soup, but gives it a touch of excitement.”

To order, visit