Country Mushroom Soup

¼ C butter, cubed
¼ C all-purpose flour
2 C chicken or vegetable broth
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 to 2 bay leaves
2/3 C finely chopped celery
¼ C finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 to 5 C sliced fresh mushrooms (about 1 pound)
2/3 C half-and-half or milk

1. In a 2-qt. saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth, gradually stir in broth until smooth. Add salt, pepper and bay leaves. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, saute the celery and onion in oil until tender. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until tender. Add to broth mixture; bring to a boil. 3. 3. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cream or milk; heat through. Discard bay leaves and serve.

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