of Kansas City.
When Constans retired from running a travel agency and a remodeling company and launched a soup business in April 2013, he started cold — literally. His first lineup consisted of four chilled soups, sold in local supermarkets under the nameSoupe Glacée
Constans, whose father is Greek, frequently visits cousins in Greece. There he sampled avgolemono, an egg-lemon soup that is an iconic Greek dish, served hot in the winter and cold in summer. On visits to France he encountered vichyssoise, a chilled potato-leek soup, and in Spain he swooned for gazpacho, a cold tomato-based soup.
Thinking he could turn Kansas Citians on to cold soups, Constans developed four recipes at the Ennovation Center in Independence: cucumber dill, carrot with sweet curry and coconut milk, vichyssoise and golden heirloom tomato gazpacho.
The soups were a hit at a dozen area supermarkets, including Hy-Vee at 95th and Antioch streets in Overland Park. From mid-May through mid-September, Constans sold more than 3,000 24-ounce containers of cold soup.
At first, Constans planned for his business to be seasonal, producing soup only in summer. But a store manager at Hy-Vee convinced him to come up with a cold-weather offering. Since Hy-Vee has its own line of winter soups and carried soup from other producers as well, Constans went in a different direction: chili.
Recipe development was easy, because he had won a chili cook-off in Lenexa a few years earlier with a red, Cincinnati-style offering laced with cinnamon. He also created a white chili made with ground turkey and Great Northern beans.
The two varieties of chili, brandedChiliLicious, are sold at just five stores. The chili costs $6.99 per container, cold soups are $5.99. This summer will bring a new addition to the Soupe Glacée line: roasted red pepper with sundried tomato. The company keeps an updated list of where to find its soups on its Facebook page.