MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) – Bisque, chowder, stew or gazpacho: for Joe Buley, good soup is the name of the game.
“I love makin’ soup,” he laughed.
That explains why this former Michelin Star culinary whiz has been at it for almost 15 years now. He got his experience doing some time in Parisian kitchens, owning restaurants himself and instructing at NECI.
“And I had a midlife crisis and bought a greenhouse, started farming, realized that we had all these vegetables that needed to be used so I started making soup,” he explained.
It may come as no surprise, but the soups were a hit. That’s how “Joe’s Kitchen at Screamin’ Ridge Farm” came to be.
They started selling the soups at the Montpelier farmers market. After continued growth, they moved into a Montpelier kitchen six years ago. Now, they pump out 600 gallons of soup a week.
Many of their 35 or so flavors are gluten-free, as they opt to replace flour with potato.
“We care a lot about flavor, we don’t use a lot of salt. We use a lot of ginger, a lot of lemon, a lot of lime, a lot of citrus,” said Buley. “After working in fine dining for 20-some-odd years, the palette comes with you, I know what tastes good… at least I think I do. And so far we’ve been right.”
These soups are packed with fresh, local ingredients. In fact, we had to pause our interview with Buley so he could take care of a potato delivery from the Northeast Kingdom.
Buley’s team of eight works hard to make their delicious soups for their base of loyal fans.
“We’re starting to make meatballs, meatloaf, people are asking for it,” he said.
Their popular soups are available in food co-ops and health food stores across Vermont, some parts of New Hampshire and some parts of New York.
Come this summer, Joe’s soup fans will be able to get their fill at their new Montpelier cafe, too. Once that opens, hopefully, in June, you can expect nothing short of a tasty menu.
“We make great soup,” laughed Buley. “Tastes good!”
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