Soup for a Chilly Day

It is c-c-cold here in Chicago. We woke up this morning to snow! After a very mild November, winter has decided to finally settle upon our busy city. With all the excitement surrounding the holidays, it only seems fitting that we should be bundling up to go outside.

Weather like this calls for warm and comforting meals. Soups have become some of my favorite meals to make lately. There are so many variations and it is so easy to experiment. Just about anything sitting in the pantry and fridge can come together to make a great soup.

I found mushrooms for a good price at our nearby produce market yesterday, and I knew I’d find a use for them this week. The initial inspiration for this soup came from my mom’s turkey tetrazzini recipe. It starts with mushrooms and thyme – a lovely, wintery combination that is very warming and hearty. Once I had that in my mind, it was pretty easy to build upon it and create a cozy soup.

I served this along with some toasted homemade bread. This soup was perfect for little Evelyn — she LOVED it!
My Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, roughly chopped
2 pounds washed mushrooms, stems removed and discarded
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
splash of dry white wine (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 pint heavy cream
4 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Melt butter in large stock pot over medium heat. Add chopped shallots and cook until softened.

Meanwhile, roughly chop mushrooms. Add to shallots. Stir in thyme and bay leaf. Cook for 15-20 minutes (until the liquid that comes out of the mushrooms evaporates). If you’re using the wine, add it now and let most of the liquid cook off (just a few minutes).

Add broth, cream, salt and pepper to the mushrooms. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Pour dissolved cornstarch into soup and stir well. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove bay leaf.

Remove soup from heat and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Serve to the ones you love!

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