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Soup-er tasty close to Market

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson
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Chef Shane Eagan’s roasted chicken green chili soup can be eaten with a fork.The question of whether that’s his secret weapon for Glenwood’s Downtown Market soup cook-off remains unanswered.”It’s a secret,” said Eagan, of his unnamed edible entry into the competition, which takes place, rain or shine, at the season’s last farmers market from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday in Centennial Park. “I do make my soups the day before because soups are always better the next day.”Whether Eagan decides to enter a chunky or puréed concoction, the Montreal native said he will definitely try a different recipe than last year’s cook-off. The owner of The Stock Pot, a food cart that ladles out hot soups and serves up lunches in front of the Garfield County Courthouse, initiated the first soup contest last year in Centennial Park.”I made the corn crab chowder and it lost because the vegetarians didn’t even try it,” he said. “I definitely lost the vegan vote.”Last year’s winner of the soup cook-off was Chef Jason Higens of the 8th St. Deli. Tuesday he will return to the competition, in hopes of winning the bronze traveling trophy that Cooper Corner donated, to try and out-cook almost a dozen other area eateries, including Fin’s and Sacred Grounds. A $2 donation to benefit Cooper Corner allows for unlimited tastings of the competing soups.”We’re going to have a panel of judges because the soups are going to be so different,” said Cindy Svatos, a member of the market’s board of directors and co-chair with Jan Harr. “The restaurants, they’re not saying what kind of soups they’re making. They’re keeping it close to their hearts.”For Eagan, cooking is a talent that has remained close to his heart for 12 years. The first soup he ever made was a Wisconsin cheddar beer chowder, and the worst was a creamy – and scorched – creation.”I let it sit too long on the burner and it had that lovely burnt taste,” said Eagan, who was the executive chef at the Miner’s Claim in Silt for three years and a private chef in Aspen before starting The Stock Pot about a year and a half ago.Customers who lined up for a bowl of Eagan’s green chili soup on a brisk fall afternoon Wednesday didn’t seem troubled by talk of culinary disasters. They knew better. Eagan, who snowboards and sells chili behind his stainless steel cart during the winter, has a loyal following with his popular culinary operation in downtown Glenwood. “I’ve got my regulars who come by two, four or five times a week,” he said. “If I changed locations, I’d be in trouble.” He could be in luck if one of Tuesday’s judges is also one of his weekday regulars.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com


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