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”

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  1. Coconut milk could also happily make this gluten free, and you can easily make a vegan roux with vegan butter or olive oil and non-dairy milk from a carton. Lots of ways to make this GF and Vegan!

  2. Looks so delicious! I’m allergic to mushrooms… Do you think that the soup will be lacking without them? Or what would you recommend I use instead? Thank you in advance!

    • No problem! I think there are enough good flavors going on here that the soup would be just fine without them. :) Enjoy!

  3. Ali, this look soooo comforting and delicious!!! Great recipe!!!

    Rating: 5
  4. What is Old Bay seasoning? I have never heard of it.

    • It’s a savory blend of herbs and spices, somewhat similar to Cajun seasoning. Feel free to sub in a different favorite seasoning that you might already have on hand! (I’ll list a few options above — this is a great question.)

  5. I really dislike Old Bay. What else might you recommend? I’m wondering if Penzey’s Northwood spice blend would work?

  6. Any good substitution options for sweet potato? Not sure whether I’d like them in a soup..

    • Sure thing! Butternut squash would be a similar substitute. Or you’re welcome to substitute a Yukon gold potato, or just leave the potatoes out altogether. :)

  7. Another idea to make this GF and dairy free cream to add would be to roughly chop an onion and add olive oil. Then use your immersion blender to make it creamy. I cannot wait to make this!

  8. Will this soup freeze well?

  9. I’ve never been much of a soup eater, but this one sounds really good. I would definitely add the chicken, and I would use Herbes de Provence (purchased in Nice, France) for the seasoning, because I have and like that. Old Bay comes in too large a container for a spice mix I wouldn’t use much. If you keep going like this, you’re going to make a soup eater out of me… :-)

    • I swapped Herbs de Provence for the Old Bay based upon what I had in my on hand. The end result was heavenly!

  10. I made this today for lunch! Left out mushrooms and celery and used a combo of cumin/coriander/smoked paprika/turmeric/cayenne instead of the Old Bay. Also used non-dairy milk! So so good.

    Rating: 5
  11. I am sick with a horrible cold & am so excited to make this tonight, just what I need to make me feel better! I love all of your recipes & look forward to your emails, the recipes are always clear & easy to understand, & the pics are perfection. You’re the best! Happy cooking!!! All the best, Karen.

  12. This looks great! I really appreciate how, not only have you been including tweaks in your recipes to make them friendly to lots of diets, but you’re so go-with-the-flow about it. Vegan? No probs! Gf? Got you covered. Thanks!

  13. The recipe inspired me today so I picked up the groceries to make it on the way home for dinner tonight! It was truly awesome. Hearty and warm with lots of veggies to keep it light. I’m not a huge Old Bay fan myself but I think it works great in this recipe. It’s got a subtle little kick that is delicious! I’m a Minnesota girl and it’s hard to lure me away from the classic creamy wild rice and ham soup of my youth…but this one might just do it!

    Rating: 5
  14. Love how you included so many different ways to make this soup; so helpful! Love how this contains kale and sweet potatoes too :)

  15. Do you have any nutrition information on this recipe? This does not appear to be diabetic friendly. Do you have any suggestions to make this diabetes or carb friendly?

  16. This looks so delish! I can’t wait to make it. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  17. Made this soup last night – YUM!! I added chicken for a bit heartier soup. My entire family loved it!!

    Rating: 5
  18. I made this today and it was SO good! I can’t wait to have it for lunch this week! I especially like it when the wild rice kind of pops :)

    Rating: 5
  19. I made this for dinner tonight and it was so good! Mummy and I really enjoyed it. Subbed pumpkin for the sweet potato, had no celery and used almond milk. I’m looking forward to leftovers :) Thank you so much!

    Rating: 5
  20. Could I use a wild rice blend?

  21. Looks so yummy, can’t wait to try it when our weather cools down a tad!

  22. Ooooo we got an Instant Pot at my bridal shower this summer and it has been sitting in its box in my kitchen since – intimidating me from the corner. HA! I had no idea where to start! Well, this looks like a goodie to practice with! YUM! Time for some soup!

  23. I love this soup, filling and comforting. I made mine with coconut milk, Italian seasoning, and thyme. Great recipe.

    Rating: 5
  24. This bowl of comfort looks absolutely amazing! I’ve printed the recipe and hope to try it soon. MMMMMMM!!

  25. Awesome. Just made this today.

  26. I made this for dinner tonight and I loved it! Made it on the stovetop and gluten-free. I will definitely recommend this recipe.

    Rating: 5
  27. Hi Ali, Do you know how many people this recipe serves?

  28. It looks so nourishing, I have to ask my bf to cook some for my flu discovery as soon as possible 🤒
    – Natalie

  29. Would this work with jasmine rice or even with farro? I’m not sure if the farro would take too long to cook or if the jasmine rice would get too mushy?

  30. Ali – you did it again! This is so delicious!
    My man always knows when it’s an “Ali Receipe”. Keep them coming!

    Rating: 4
  31. This was outstanding! I made it exactly as printed for the stove top. I will be making this again and again. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Rating: 5
  32. Wow! This looks amazing. Definitely going to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing :)

  33. Hi, has anyone made this with wild rice blend, if so can you share the cooking times? Thx!

    • I made mine with a blend and just did it for the 25 minutes. It may vary depening on the blend of rices, but that worked for me.

  34. This soup is delicious! The Old Bay makes it.

    Rating: 5
  35. Thanks so much for having different version’s to make this soup. I have a pressure cooker and don’t use it that much. So now with this recipe I am willing to try out this soup. It looks delicious and fairly easy.

  36. I made this as per the insta-pot instructions. It turned out very well!! Packing it up for my lunches this week. Thanks!

  37. How many servings of what size ( 1 cup, 1 1/2 cups, or whatever) does this recipe make?

  38. Thank you so much for sharing gf and vegan alternatives! I’m so excited to try this!

  39. Can this soup be made without milk or cream products for kashrut dietary reasons? I can sub parved margarine for the butter

  40. So good!!

    Rating: 5
  41. I made this tonight. I changed to Basmati Rice, added 12 oz mushrooms, Bone Broth. I used Arrowroot and grass fed whole milk. I also added ground turkey pasture raised and finished seasoned with Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute which I cooked seperate and added when the soup was finished. I also added another 8 oz of raw mushrooms when it was finished and added Spinach not Kale. To kick it up I added garlic goat cheese.
    It was awesome! Nest time I will cut down the Instant Pot cook time to 8-10 min.

    Rating: 5
  42. Can this recipe be made without a pressure cooker?

  43. Just saw the stovetop instructions. Thank you!

  44. This soup was just OK. It was edible, but there just wasn’t enough depth of flavor. The only flavor was the Old Bay which wasn’t all that great and just imparted kind of a dull, back of the throat, paprika heat coming through. The flavor was definitely lacking something, I can’t put my finger on what. The carrots and sweet potato were indistinguishable from each other. There are only 2 of us and I made the entire recipe and unfortunately the leftovers somehow got more bland and turned into a gummy mass of goop. I had to thin it out with water, which didn’t really help.

    Rating: 3
  45. Made this last night, perfect for a rainy fall night. I did the stove top version, and cooked my chicken breast (with rib meat) in with the soup. I don’t care for mushrooms so just left them out. I used the old bay seasoning and loved it. Made 8 good size servings and heated up well for my lunch today. Recipe is a keeper; thanks!

    Rating: 5
  46. This is delicious!

    Rating: 4
  47. Mine didn’t look as appetizing as your lovely photo, but it did taste good and that’s what’s important. I used butternut squash instead of sweet potato, only used a teaspoon of Old Bay, a wild rice blend, and did a vegan version using cornstarch and soy milk. My whole family enjoyed it. My husband is going to have the leftovers for lunches for the remainder of the week.

    Rating: 4
  48. A new favorite! Subsituted sweet potato for butternut squash because I had some to use up, left out celery (because I really don’t like lol), and added red pepper flakes because I love a little heat. So tasty!

    Rating: 4
  49. So I was super excited to make this recipe on a day off. Used the instant pot, added chicken, came out awesome. 3/4 of the way through the bowl, I realize I forgot to add the rice. 🤦🏽‍♀️ Still delicious!!

    Rating: 4
  50. This was so good!
    I made a vegan version. I followed the stove-top directions except I used 2 tablespoons vegan butter, 1 tablespoon light yellow miso paste and I used plain, unsweetened soy milk. Otherwise all same ingredients and technique. Even my non-vegan husband liked it!