2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped celery, leaves and all
2 carrots, chopped
1 package mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 russet potatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
a pinch of dried rosemary, thyme and oregano
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine, if desired
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk, half & half or cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water if the soup needs further thickening
Shred or dice the cooked chicken and set aside.
Heat a soup pot and add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the chopped onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic potatoes and spices. Saute over medium high heat until the vegetables are wilted.
Add the chicken broth and white wine, if desired. Bring to boil and simmer gently until the vegetables are soft.
In another small pan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter, add 2 tablespoons flour and whisk together until evenly combined. Simmer for a few minutes, lower the heat if necessary, being careful not to let the mixture turn brown. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly so lumps don't form. Mixture should be thick since you're going to add it to the stew. After mixture thickens and the consistency is even, add it to the stew and combine well.
Simmer for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.
Add the 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water if the soup needs further thickening by bringing the pot to a gentle boil and adding the cornstarch mixture while stirring. Simmer gently for 5 more minutes.
Garnish with chopped parsley, chives or jalapeños.