Home Cooking: Swanson’s Deli

By Kristin Boza

Swanson’s Deli and Catering, 2414 W. 103rd St., has been a neighborhood staple for over 50 years. Under new ownership since December, Swanson’s continues to offer Swedish specialties and American fare, and it is important for new owners Todd Thielmann and Greg Dix to continue the neighborhood tradition.

“Swanson’s was historically a Swedish deli, and we continue to offer Swedish items like Limpa bread, Gottenburg sausage, Bondost cheese and potato sausage,” said Thielmann. “The Swedish offerings are expanded during Christmas.”

Thielmann said that customers expect their delectable best sellers, including potato salad, chicken salad and the ever-popular cheeseballs. “My idea of a perfect sandwich is chicken salad on a buttercrust roll with lettuce, tomato and red onion,” Thielmann said. “Throw in a side of potato salad and it’s heaven.”

Dix and Thielmann grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park and felt it was essential to continue the Swanson’s role within the community.

“Whether it’s news at the different parishes, talk about local sports teams or the goings-on around town, it feels like Swanson’s is in the middle of it all,” Thielmann said. “Customers always thank us for taking over and continuing the legacy. It’s sad when a long-time business closes their doors, and we are excited about breathing new life into a community cornerstone.”

Fresh, high-quality food is essential to the pair as they retain the community favorites and enhance their menu.

“Greg and I look at it like we are now the caretakers of a loved and established deli. Customers have high expectations of the quality and consistency of the food we offer,” Thielmann said. For example, the chicken used in the chicken salad is cooked in-house and cut by hand, and the potatoes are peeled and diced by Dix and Thielmann.

“Our customers are very loyal because they know that we work very hard to present the best product,” Thielmann said.

Try to capture the best of Swanson’s flavors at home by making your own version of their chicken noodle soup. Or if all else fails, stop in for a cup to enjoy at home.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Makes approximately 3 quarts

Ingredients:

2 quarts chicken stock

1 1/2 cups carrots, diced

1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped

2 cups cooked chicken, diced

2 cups egg noodles

1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

Salt & pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup water or chicken stock, cold

Bring chicken stock to a boil and immediately turn down heat to a simmer. Add vegetables and garlic. Simmer until vegetables are soft (about 7 to 10 minutes) add noodles and simmer another 5 to 7 minutes. When noodles are cooked, add chicken, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Remember to never let soup reach a boil. Adjust seasoning, if needed, and serve hot with crackers or crusty bread.

Shop at Swanson’s Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. Order ahead by calling 773-239-1197. More info: www.swansonsbeverlydeli.com.