Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup

This Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup is full of hearty seasonal vegetables and wild rice (plus chicken, if you would like), it’s wonderfully creamy and comforting, and easy to make in the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or on the stovetop.

Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup Recipe

For those days when you’re craving a cozy, creamy, comforting bowl of soup…I have the perfect new recipe for you.

It’s a riff on the classic chicken and wild rice soup of my childhood.  But in lieu of the chicken (which you’re still welcome to add if you’d like), I’ve loaded this soup up instead with lots and lots of seasonal veggies.  And added in some bolder savory seasonings.  And lightened it up a bit by using milk instead of heavy cream.  And the result?

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Basically the most delicious, hearty, sweet-and-savory, thick-and-creamy, comforting soup a girl could ask for.  ♡

Plus, more good news!  It’s easy to make in either the Instant Pot (pressure cooker), Crock-Pot (slow cooker), or on the stovetop — your choice.  And you can adapt the recipe to be gluten-free and/or vegan, if you prefer.  Options, options.  So if you’re ready to cozy up with a warm bowl of soup yourself, load up a shopping bag full of veggies and wild rice, and let’s make some together.

Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup Recipe -- made in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker)

Wild Rice Soup Ingredients:

To make this Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup recipe, you will need:

  • Wild Rice: I used and loved 100% wild rice (affiliate link) in this recipe, not a wild rice blend.
  • Vegetable Stock: Or chicken stock, whatever you happen to have on hand.
  • Autumn Veggies: Sweet potato, carrots, celery, onion, baby bella mushrooms and garlic.
  • The “Bays”: Old Bay seasoning plus a bay leaf, to season our soup.  (Or see ideas below on different seasoning ideas.)
  • The Cream Sauce: Made from butter, flour and milk, which we will mix up at the end of the cooking time.  Or see options below for a gluten-free and/or vegan alternative.
  • Kale: I also added in lots of fresh kale at the end, or you could sub in baby spinach or collard greens.
  • Salt & Pepper: Don’t forget ’em!

Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup Recipe in Stockpot

How To Make Wild Rice Soup:

I have included detailed instructions below for how to make this wild rice soup recipe either in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker), Crock-Pot (slow cooker), or on the stovetop.  But here are the basics. ;)

  1. Cook the base of the soup: Whichever cooking method you choose, we will simmer the base soup ingredients (veggies, rice, broth, seasonings) until the rice is cooked and tender.
  2. Make your cream sauce: Then during the last 10 minutes that the soup is cooking, prepare your cream sauce in a separate saucepan.  Melt the butter, whisk in the flour, then stir in the milk and cook — stirring frequently so that the bottom does not burn — until thickened.  The sauce should be very thick.  (Or skip this whole step and add in a can of coconut milk instead, which is vegan and also incredibly delicious in this recipe.)
  3. Add in the cream sauce and kale: And stir to combine.  Then taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. And…
  4. Serve warm: Preferably with a nice hunk of crusty bread, or some oyster crackers, or whatever sounds good. :)

Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup with Kale (Vegetarian)

Possible Variations:

Want to mix things up a bit?  Feel free to:

  • Add chicken: You can either add pre-cooked/shredded chicken.  Or add a chicken breast (or two) to the pot and let it cook along with the rice and veggies, then remove and shred it once it has cooked through.
  • Add more veggies: There are so many other veggies that would be great in this soup too, like cauliflower, butternut squash, parsnips, bell peppers…whatever sounds good!
  • Use a different seasoning: If Old Bay seasoning isn’t your fave, feel free to use any other blends that you like, such as:
  • Make it gluten-free: Feel free to use the vegan option below (it’s delicious!).  Or skip the roux (the butter/flour step) for the cream sauce, and just whisk 1.5 tablespoons gluten-free cornstarch into a saucepan of cold milk.  Heat the milk until it just barely reaches a simmer, whisking frequently, and the milk will thicken up.  Then add it to the soup.  As always, be sure to check that all of your other ingredients are certified gluten-free.
  • Make it vegan: Skip the cream sauce altogether and add in 1 (15-ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk instead.  To be honest, I love the coconut milk version even more than the dairy!

Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup Recipe (Vegetarian / Vegan / Gluten-Free)

What To Serve With This Soup:

I recommend serving this wild rice soup with:

Hope you enjoy this one, friends!

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Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup

This Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup is wonderfully creamy and comforting.  See tips above for how to modify this recipe to be gluten-free and/or vegan, if you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice*
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large (about 1 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large handfuls of kale, roughly chopped with thick stems removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Method:

  1. Combine vegetable stock, wild rice, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, celery, sweet potato, onion, bay leaf and Old Bay seasoning in the bowl of an Instant Pot pressure cooker.  Stir briefly to combine.
  2. Cover and set vent to “sealing”.  Cook on manual (high pressure) for 25 minutes.  Let the Instant Pot rest there for an extra 10 minutes (natural release).  Then carefully turn the vent to “venting” and release the remaining pressure (quick release).  Remove lid and discard the bay leaf.
  3. Meanwhile, during those final 10 minutes of pressure cooking, prepare your cream sauce on the stove.  In a medium saucepan, cook the butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour until combined, and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually add in the milk, and whisk until combined.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture nearly comes to a simmer and has thickened.  (It should be very thick.)
  4. Add the cream sauce and kale to the soup, and stir gently until combined.  Taste and season with salt and pepper (plus any extra Old Bay seasoning, if you would like) as needed.
  5. Serve warm.  Or transfer to sealed container(s) and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Crock-Pot (Slow Cooker) Method:

  1. Combine vegetable stock, wild rice, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, celery, sweet potato, onion, bay leaf and Old Bay seasoning in the bowl of a large slow cooker.  Stir briefly to combine.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours, until the rice is cooked and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, during those final 10 minutes of slow cooking, prepare your cream sauce on the stove.  In a medium saucepan, cook the butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour until combined, and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually add in the milk, and whisk until combined.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture nearly comes to a simmer and has thickened.  (It should be very thick.)
  4. Add the cream sauce and kale to the soup, and stir gently until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper (plus any extra Old Bay seasoning, if you would like) as needed.
  5. Serve warm.  Or transfer to sealed container(s) and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Stovetop Method:

  1. Heat (an extra) 1 tablespoon butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.  Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  2. Add in the vegetable stock, wild rice, mushrooms, carrots, celery, sweet potato, bay leaf and Old Bay seasoning.  Stir to combine.
  3. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, during those final 10 minutes, prepare your cream sauce in a separate saucepan on the stove.  In it, cook the butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour until combined, and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually add in the milk, and whisk until combined.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture nearly comes to a simmer and has thickened.  (It should be very thick.)
  5. Add the cream sauce and kale to the soup, and stir gently until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper (plus any extra Old Bay seasoning, if you would like) as needed.
  6. Serve warm.  Or transfer to sealed container(s) and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

*As mentioned above, if you would like to skip making the cream sauce (butter, flour, milk), feel free to just add in a can of full-fat coconut milk instead.  It’s dairy-free and vegan, and absolutely delicious in this recipe!

*I used 100% wild rice (not a blend), which I love and recommend for this soup.  Cooking time may vary if you use a wild rice blend.

*Recipe edited from the original to make the milk/butter roux slightly less thick, per reader requests.  Enjoy!

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Vegetarian Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup from Gimme Some Oven

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166 comments on “Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup”

  1. Question for the folk who used coconut milk, are you still making the eye as well just substituting the coconut milk? Thank you.

    • No I just added the coconut milk alone at the end with the Kale. Delicious!

    • Andee
      I used coconut milk and the roux (using olive oil and rice flour). The soup came out very creamy and I believe it would have been fine to omit the roux. I am assuming that you are referring to the roux? Hope this helps.

  2. Followed the recipe per crockpot instructions. While flavorful, the wild rice is mush. I think next time I would add the rice half way through cook time. When I checked the first time potatoes were not done but the rice was already done.

  3. I cannot wait to try this recipe. I will be subbing pumpkin for the sweet potato, so it might be slightly different, but I am sure it will be a good swap. I am hoping I am right. Can you tell me if you agree?

  4. This soup I made an all day event. I was home with no plans. I let the stock with seasonings simmer most of the day before adding vegetables and rice for another 3 hour simmer. At the end, I tossed in the kale and chicken I had precooked and let it simmer for another 15 minutes. It was so thick and creamy that I didn’t have to fuss with the cream. It was definitely yummly.

    Rating: 5
  5. Yummy! I added a chicken breast, used Trader Joe’s brown rice medley and for the milk I used 12 oz of evaporated milk.
    I added 2 min to the pressure cooker. I wasn’t sure on the frozen breast & a different rice. Came out great.

    Rating: 5
  6. This recipe looks promising. After reading the comments, I cooked my rice separately and added it into the soup at the end of cooking to prevent it from becoming mushy. I also added a bouquet garni with the bay leaf that included fresh sage, thyme, and parsley. Even with that, it seems like it is missing something. I let it sit overnight, so I am hoping the flavors developed a little more.

    Rating: 3
  7. Best soup ever!! First time I made it, I used a combo of long grain and wild rice, so it did come out a bit mushy…still delicious. Second time used wild rice from Trader Joe’s and it was perfect. Shared recipe with vegetarian and gluten free friends and they also loved it. (I made mine in InstaPot and they made theirs on stovetop.)

    Rating: 5
  8. Omgosh! This soup is absolutely delicious!!! I made the vegan version, and used spinach in place of kale, and cauliflower instead of sweet potato. It is INCREDIBLE!

    Since becoming vegan/plant-based just over a year ago, I have found good soup recipes difficult to make or find that fit within my diet and lifestyle. I used to frequent a nearby location in our downtown area that serves mainly soups, sandwiches, and salads. I miss the full-flavor hearty goodness of their soups, especially this time of year when the chill and dampness of the season begins to set in. This soup has remedied that for me; I would dare say it is just as wonderful (if not better!) than my old favorites. AMAZING! Even my 6-year-old loved this and named it her “new favorite soup.”

    My only complaint is that, in our home, this would yield closer to just 4-6 servings. lol So next time I will definitely be making a double batch. Keep it coming with such awesome recipes as this one, with gluten-free and vegan options, and you will have yourself a new devoted follower! Thank you!!!

    Rating: 5
  9. This sounds amazing and will be trying it but would caution against using cornstarch as a gluten free option, corn is actually a grain and not gluten free.

    • Fiachra,

      I am Gluten sensitive and therefore must eat a gluten free diet. Gluten is not in all grains and Corn would be one of the gluten free grains. There are other grains that are gluten free also. But thank goodness corn is gluten free because I would miss my beloved corn shelled tacos. BTW the soup is AMAZING!

  10. Tried this recipe, it was loved by all at home. Super easy and delicious. It’s a keeper!

    Rating: 5
  11. I made this soup today! Oh my wow!! it was yum yum yum, i used coconut milk as my hubby is gluten free! Thank-you for sharing sharing such an awesome recipe!

    Rating: 5
  12. This recipe turned out delicious! I didn’t have milk so used half and half. I cooked it in the Crock-Pot for 8 hours on low temperature. The house smelled amazing all day long. It was a family favorite!

    Rating: 5
  13. This recipe turned out delicious! I didn’t have milk so used half and half. I cooked it in the Crock-Pot for 8 hours on low temperature. The house smelled amazing all day long. It was a family favorite! Even my picky 11 year-old loved it. I served it with gluten free bread with butter.

  14. I followed the stove top directions, and used coconut milk. Oh lord. Very tasty. Will be putting it in the rotation!

    Rating: 5
  15. This soup was delicious, cooked one chicken breast in the broth , and then shredded it, added the rice and used spinach, found it to be a bit salty, so next time will not add any salt , even better heated up the next day, (added a bit more chicken broth to thin it down) , wonderful!!!!

    Rating: 5
  16. I just made this amazing soup. I used a Combination of wild and long grain rice and it turned out great I also put in extra kale and added 2 chicken breasts, a little extra chicken broth, and used 1 can of lite coconut milk. It is so good! Thank you for sharing this!

    Rating: 5
  17. This soup tastes amazing, I used coconut milk as I am not fond of flour in any of my food be it a stew or soup. The only problem I had was that it turned out black hahahaha, most probably because of the mushrooms but it’s still good. Thank you for the recipe!

  18. For some reason, I have never used old bay seasoning until now. This soup is AMAZING! I love soup more than anything and this recipe will be at the top of my rotation. I love the veggies and the flavor.

    Rating: 5
  19. For the Gluten free option.
    Instead of corn starch, will gluten free all purpose flour work?

  20. Delicious soup! I used ingredients at hand to add to it (a great recipe to start!). I used the stovetop method using homemade chicken stock (simmered a whole chicken with a medium onion in water, and then shredded the chicken, discarded the onion). Made wild rice separately.

    Had some fresh sage and thyme to add, (about 2 tsp each). In addition, added 1/2 tsp. Penzys Fox Point Season (in lieu of half the salt in the recipe). I added flour (oat flour as we are celiac) to the sautéed vegetables. This creates a roux and then added the veggie mix to hot stock in a large stock pot. Broought all to a simmer and then added the dairy (mostly heavy cream and half and half) and kale and cooked wild rice. Family raved and demanded this be added to our winter favorite soups!

    Rating: 5
  21. This recipe is comfort in a bowl. I used real wild grain rice (black kind from Trader Joe’s) came out PERFECT. It’s healthy, delicious and comforting. I used coconut milk. Can’t say thank you enough.

    Rating: 5
  22. This was awesome! I will definitely be making this again. Thank you

  23. Absolutely fantastic soup!! Followed the recipe for the stovetop method, added rotissere chicken. Super easy and delious. Will definitely make again!

    Rating: 5
  24. I actually had a lot of leftover wild rice that I prepared the night before. I used a crockpot and let my veggies simmer until soft and added my kale and cooked rice at the end. I left out the flour but added a splash of half and half and a large dallop of greek yogurt (could also use sour cream). LOVED the final outcome!

    Rating: 5
  25. I am curious if this would hold up in the freezer? Trying to come up with hearty meals for my mother in law. Thank You!

  26. I made this in the instant pot without sweet potatoes as I don’t like them. I used leeks instead of onion as I love leeks. I didn’t have old bay seasoning so I looked up the ingredients and made my own. I added 3 frozen chicken breasts and I cooked for 24minutes then NPR about 30 as I was busy doing something else. Then I made the sauce to thicken and added it with spinach. The rice was a blend of wild and brown, all our Walmart had and it was great. It wasn’t overcooked or mushy. I will definitely be making this again, it was wonderful and just what I wanted as it is a chilly 42° in East Texas tonight.😁

    Rating: 4
  27. Does anyone have the nutrition information on this recipe? I keyed it in to My Fitness Pal and it came out to about 180cals per serving!

  28. This was majorly yummy. we’re not big sweet potato fans so i subbed butternut squash and fresh baby spinach for the kale. i also added chopped, cooked rotisserie chcken I served it with a green salad and it made a great dinner with leftovers for the rest of the week.

    Rating: 5
  29. Made this excellent soup recipe last night. Subbed spinach for kale and nonfat yogurt for the butter and milk. Everyone loved it and will definitely make this again!

    Rating: 5
  30. Is 1-1/2 tablespoons of Old Bay correct? Seems like too much.

  31. Wow, this was amazing! I will be making this again and again. Thank you for sharing with us. We have been vegetarian for over 25 yrs and I had to go gluten free and my daughter decide to go vegan. You made it so easy to adapt the recipe for everyone and still sooo delicious.
    Thank you,
    Rosemary from Shawnee,Ks

    Rating: 5
  32. Made this with butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes in slow cooker. It was amazing!

    Rating: 5
  33. This soup is delicious! And oh so easy to prepare. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    Rating: 5
  34. LOVE LOVE LOVE this soup! Made it for the second time yesterday in the crockpot, first time all veges, this time with organic chicken breast. Used the can of coconut milk option which is super easy & meets requirements for dairy free daughter and gluten free hubs. Everyone loves it! 😊

    Rating: 5
  35. This was so delicious! I did the coconut version. Yum!

    Rating: 5
  36. So goooood! This is my second time making it and my new favorite fall soup recipe! I love a recipe that combines comfort and nutrition. Thank you!!

    Rating: 5
  37. Do you think cashew milk would work?

  38. This is a wonderful recipe! I made the dairy version and made the bay spice at home. (It is hard to find in Canada) I added 3 teaspoons of parmesan cheese to the pot. I used what was in my fridge. Both kale and collard greens.
    Such a beautiful dish. I am very very happy.

    Rating: 5
  39. Thanks for the recipe.. yummy and filling..

    Rating: 5
  40. Made this in my pressure cooker. Followed the recipe and it came out mushy. Was really disappointed. Might try again but I will make the rice on the side and add it in the end.

    Rating: 2
  41. I have a couple alternative ingredients suggestions.
    Flour: cassava (I use nothing with corn…
    .most genetically modified crop on the planet).
    If more thickening is still needed, potato starch works just like corn starch.
    Milk: Ripple (it’s a pea protein. I cannot have coconut and found this stuff to be pretty good.)

    I’m looking forward to enjoying this scrumptious sounding soup. Thank you!

  42. This soup is incredible! I accidentally bought a white sweet potato, so I threw it in. This is the best soup I’ve ever made hands down. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  43. Easy and yummy!

    Rating: 5
  44. This soup was fabulous. I made it exactly as directions suggested, using the stove top method. It was SO easy and perfect for this chilly fall weather…even my husband loved it and he usually doesn’t get that excited about soup!

    Rating: 5
  45. HH loved this soup and I did too! Delish!

    Rating: 5