Cream of Mushroom Soup

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Over the holidays I took some time off to spend with my family and cooked a lot of great food!

Now that the snow is falling, I'm thinking ahead to Summer. I am hoping to take you on the road with me, via the food truck. I am signed up for some great music, art, and antique festivals all summer long, even got my first wedding booked! 

I decided with the cold weather and falling snow I would make some good old Cream of Mushroom soup, I LOVE mushrooms! It's easy and makes the house smell fantastic, frankly I can't wait to eat it!  

The more variety of mushrooms you can get the better! It's not for the non-fat eaters out there, this one is bold, rich and oh so tasty! 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

4 packages of fresh mushrooms, sliced

(use a variety for the best flavor, if using pre-cut change to 5 packages)

2 pints of heavy cream
2 pints of half and half 

1 carton of vegetable stock (love the Kitchen Basics brand)

3 large finely chopped shallots
6 celery sticks finely chopped
1 large bundle of fresh Thyme
4 garlic bulbs, minced
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of butter
salt and fresh pepper to taste

I started by chopping all the mushrooms, shallots, and celery, and then minced the garlic. In a large stock pot add the butter, over medium heat, add the shallots, celery and minced garlic and render for about 3 minutes, stirring so it doesn't burn. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they soften and lose their moisture. You'll want to add the cream & stock only after they have lost all their moisture, you want that good clean mushroom flavor that they have leached out! Thyme is a good one to tie together with some kitchen string, it will lose its leaves as it heats so there is no need to chop it. I like to simmer it for a couple hours so it reduces and the flavors intensify. 

At the end, I like to grate some fresh Parmesan cheese on top and serve with crackers! It's a great soup for a cold winter day, and it's perfect to use in a chicken casserole the next day instead of some over salted bland stuff you find in a can! 

Happy Cooking! 

From my kitchen to yours,
Chef Carol

P.S. I started a book club! I'll be adding a new monthly blog post called "Dinner and a Book Review", I hope you will like it! Our first book is "All The Light We Cannot See" by Robert Dooer, it's a great read! Not sure what I will be cooking, but it will have a French theme! 

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