Creamy Mushroom Soup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 pounds sliced fresh mushrooms
1 pinch salt
1 yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream (I use light cream, works just fine)
1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves for garnish, or to taste
1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat; cook mushrooms in butter with 1 pinch salt until the mushrooms give off their juices; reduce heat to low. Continue to cook, stirring often, until juices evaporate and the mushrooms are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside a few attractive mushroom slices for garnish later, if desired. Mix onion into mushrooms and cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 more minutes.
2. Stir flour into mushroom mixture and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes to remove raw flour taste. Tie thyme sprigs into a small bundle with kitchen twine and add to mushroom mixture; add garlic cloves and bay leaf. Pour chicken stock into mushroom mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove thyme bundle and bay leaf.
3. Transfer soup to a blender in small batches and puree on high speed until smooth and thick. (I just use an immersion blender)
4. Return soup to pot and stir in cream. Season with salt and black pepper and serve in bowls, garnished with reserved mushroom slices and a few thyme leaves.