BLACKFOOT — After winning the Bingham County Stone Soup competition for the fourth time in eight years, Kevin Rupe is already making plans for next year.
The clam chowder from Rupe's Burgers was the favorite among those who attended the fundraiser for the South East Idaho Community Action Agency on Tuesday.
"I think SEICAA is a tremendous organization," Rupe said after claiming another title in the friendly competition among various businesses and organizations.
Rupe, owner of the restaurant on Alice Street in Blackfoot, said he wants to give back to the community in whatever way he can.
"This is one of the funnest events we do all year," he said. "Most of all what I like is I can give all the other competitors crap all year."
Those who attended the event at Mountain View Middle School had the opportunity to try 12 different soups, ranging from Rupe's clam chowder to a fruit soup from the Bible Discovery Center. Also available were breads, desserts and drinks. They received tokens to use as votes for their favorite.
Bingham Memorial Hospital finished second with an enchilada soup and Martha's Cafe was third with a beef vegetable noodle soup.
Other participants included Downtown Bread, the Blackfoot Bah'ai Community, The Flower Shoppe, Melina's, The Willows Retirement Center, the Blackfoot Homemakers Club, U.S. Bank and Kesler's Market.
"Next year Tommy Vaughn's will be open," Rupe said of the new restaurant which his son Tyler will manage. "We'll butt heads with them."
Bobette Jackson, coordinator of the Bingham County office of SEICAA, said Stone Soup raised over $7,000. Included in that amount was a donation of $520 from the Blackfoot Rotary Club, the money raised when over 300 people came to taste and that raised from the raffle or auction of numerous donated items.
"We want to thank the community for their help," Jackson said.
The Stone Soup concept comes from a Russian folk tale in which a group of neighbors who had little individually came together to share as a community.