Cream of Mushroom Soup

Yesterday my friend Lindsay had a Soup Night.  A lovely take on a potluck in which everyone brings a soup to share.  People taste the soups, eat the soups, and then divy up the leftovers into containers to take home!  It was genius and I now have several different types of soup in my freezer for last minute dinners and quick lunches.

As part of the festivities, there was a judging!  Everyone voted for their two favorite soups, and the winner went home with the golden ladle.  It was a close race, the second and third place soups were tied with 4 votes each, but my Cream of Mushroom Soup took home the Golden Ladle with 5 votes!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

10 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 TBS Corn Starch
8-12 sprigs of Thyme, divided
4 TBS Butter
16 ounces White Mushrooms, 8 ounces whole, 8 ounces rough chopped
16 ounces Crimini Mushrooms, 8 ounces whole, 8 ounces rough chopped
1 Shallot, quartered
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Nip of Bourbon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

On a baking sheet place the whole mushrooms, shallot, 4 sprigs of thyme, and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for 30-45 minutes, stirring once.  They should be golden in color when done.

In a dutch oven or stock pot, add the milk and remaining thyme (the more thyme the stronger the flavor).  Scald, then simmer lightly for 15 minutes.  Remove the thyme sprigs.

In a pan, melt the butter and add the rest of the mushrooms.  Saute until golden brown, seasoning with salt and pepper.  If the mushrooms give off a lot of liquid, drain into the milk.  Once golden brown, deglaze with the bourbon.

Add the roasted mushrooms and shallots to the milk, including the thyme sprigs.  Give a stir, then remove the thyme stems (this will allow the leaves to fall off into the soup).  Blend.  Stir the corn starch into the heavy cream and then whisk into the soup.

Stir the sauteed mushrooms into the soup, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

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