- Sally Pollak
- Minestrone soup from Soupie Sales in Shelburne
Kathleen’s plan was for her chef-husband to start a little soup business out of their Shelburne home. She is a devoted fan of his cooking who turned on a new crowd to his soup last year when she brought Doug's corn chowder to a school function.
“People were like, ‘Oh my God, whose soup is this?’ ‘’ Kathleen recalled. “This is so amazing! They were fighting over the crock pot: Who’s going to have the last bowl?"
She told Doug: “You’re pretty talented. Let’s give it a shot and see where it takes us.”
Doug is a 1985 graduate of New England Culinary Institute who for 24 years was chef at the Lake Mansfield Trout Club in Stowe. The club serves three meals a day and Doug focused on dinner, making multi-course meals for club members who fish and hike during the day. He left that job last fall, which gave him time over the winter to try out a soup business. He got his catering license in February.
Thus was born Soupie Sales in a Shelburne kitchen, where Doug makes his own meat and veggie stocks and prepares a few different soups each week. (The name, by the way, is a reference to the late Detroit slapstick comedian, Soupy Sales, who hosted a children's TV variety show called "Lunch With Soupie Sales" and a nighttime jazz show, "Soup's On," in the 1950s.) The soups are for sale through online orders with weekly pickups at the couple's home Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
Soup choices — vegetarian, seafood and meat — range from roasted garlic and parsnip to shrimp bisque to chicken Thai; from New England clam chowder to beef-barley vegetable to broccoli-cheddar.
We’ve had a meal of Doug's wonderful beef stew flavored with dark beer, garlic and pepper, a St. Patrick's Day special. And we've enjoyed minestrone soup thick with vegetables and served with a mini-loaf of cornbread baked by Kathleen.
The soups range in price from $10 to $14 per quart — beef stew with Irish soda bread was $15 — and can serve two people (or more) at a meal, depending on serving size. Asked to identify the key to making good soup, Doug replied: “I would just say care about what you’re doing. That’s the main thing with anything.”