Cream of Mushroom Soup
6 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
3 tbsp flour
3 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup half-and-half cream
Melt butter in heavy pan. Add onions and stir over moderate heat until onions are transparent. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, another 4 minutes.
Remove mixture from heat and blend in flour. Add stock slowly, stirring constantly. Add bay leaf and pepper.
Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in cream. If desired, garnish with croutons just before serving.