Creamy Mushroom Soup

If you ask anyone who knows me, you will know that I never used to eat mushrooms. When I recently mentioned to a friend of mine that I've started eating mushrooms, she responded with "It's like I don't even know you anymore!?!"

But in my attempt to eat things that are better for me (not in the whole 'grilled chicken - brown rice - wheat grass' kind of way, but in the eating more nutritious things, but in the same old delicious way!) I have started eating mushrooms. To work my way into the world of fungi, I have been making this recipe lately. Because really, anything can be tasty when it's 'creamy', right? But if I do say so myself...this is a pretty tasty dish, and pretty easy to make.

1/2-1 pound firm mushrooms, cleaned, mixed or crimini
1/2 medium lemon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons flour or 1 teaspoon cornstarch (dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water)
1 tablespoon minced parsley

Sprinkle the cleaned mushrooms with lemon juice and coarsely chop in a food processor (or, you know, with a knife!). Set aside. Next, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and lightly saute the shallots. Add the mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaf and saute over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Add a little bit of salt, the pepper, cream, and chicken stock and bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the flour or cornstarch to the soup, mix thoroughly, and continue to simmer 10 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve in warm bowls, sprinkled with minced parsley.