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. Cozy is right! This is delicious. I made it on the stovetop and am thilled with the results. The Old Bay is very subtle. (I grew up in MD and has Old Bay rubbed on my gums; I wouldn’t have been able to identify it as the seasoning in this soup.) I added chicken thighs, which makes this a very hearty soup. I will be making this again and again.

    Rating: 5
  2. I saw the picture and just had to make it. So, as we speak it is simmering and my house smells awesome. As I have Celiac Disease I substituted the flour for cornstarch mixed with almond milk. Gotta wait 45 very long minutes to try it!

    Rating: 4
  3. So I made this in the crock pot according to directions and the rice was so mushy and the soup got so thick from the rice it’s not edible. What could I have done wrong?

  4. Omg! Delicious. Made it on the stovetop, turned out perfect. Ate it with some soft rolls. Will definitely make again and again.

  5. Wow, delicious! The only change I made was using brown rice blend and butternut squash instead of sweet potato. Took a batch to friends who also raved about it!

    Rating: 5
  6. Just made this in the instant pot and it turned out soooo yummy! If you are thinking about making this… do it! Used a wild rice blend and kept the cook time the same.

    Rating: 5
  7. I made this a second time thinking that it must have been the wrong rice as I used a wild blend. This time I used 100% wild rice and it came out the same way. 🤨

  8. Very good soup my daughter’s family also loved it

    Rating: 4
  9. Hi there! Was wondering how different is the cooking time with a wild rice blend? This looks fantastic !

  10. Oh deliciousness! We love soups here but my husband said this was my best one yet – VERY high praise indeed. I did add chicken (precooked) that I had in the freezer. I used the Old Bay and probably doubled the amount as I added more at the end with the salt and pepper. Used skim milk for the cream sauce and that worked out just fine.

    Rating: 5
  11. Just served this to my toddler and he LOVED it!! So did Mom and Dad. :) Will be making this again.

    Rating: 5
  12. Wow is all I can say! Followed direction pretty close. Used 8 cups of vegetable stock and no salt or pepper. My family loved it. Ate the leftovers tonight and added in some rotisserie chicken. Amazing soup. Easy to make! This will be a staple soup this winter! yum😀

    Rating: 5
  13. I am eating this right now and let me tell y’all it is wonderful! I made it as written minus the potatoes, add chicken, with Italian seasoning since I couldn’t find any Old Bay in my stores. I will most definitely be making this again!! Thanks for the great recipe just in time for soup season!!!!

    Rating: 5
  14. Made this today on a stovepot and turned out exactly as pictured. I live in Norway and don’t know what Old Bay spice is but I substituted with oregano and some persille. Also added some chicken breasts. It was so hearty and perfect for a Fall evening. Thank you for sharing!

    Rating: 5
  15. This was easy to make in the Instantpot- I added spinach instead of kale. I also used the full-fat coconut milk, and it was delicious. My 15 year old daughter told me to make it again soon.

    Rating: 5
  16. I made it with white rice, as I couldn’t find wild rice in the store in my neighborhood – I love in Bulgaria.

    Overall, it is very nice, but it got really mushy, although I followed all instruction – could it be from the rice, or I did smth wring there :(

    Rating: 5
    • white rice doesn’t take nearly as long to cook as wild rice and isn’t as hardy, so i can see that it would get mushy. maybe try adding it in at some point during the simmering.

  17. Amazing! Hearty, great flavors, and absolutely loved by both me and my husband! I’m vegan so I made it using plant-based milk for the roux. It thickened it just enough! This is definitely going to be on my regular rotation!

    Rating: 5
  18. have this cooking in my crock pot as I type. Already smelling delicious.

  19. Made this in my instapot and veganized it.(used coconut milk). It was incredible.😋This is a recipe I will be making a lot.

    Rating: 5
  20. Yummy! Substituted the kale for spinach and used coconut milk for a healthier choice! Was delish and will definitely make again 😊

    Rating: 5
  21. Excellent recipe! I used my instapot and the coconut milk substitute. This will definitely be included in my fall/winter soup rotation.

    Rating: 5
  22. This soup was Amazing! Made the instant pot version and had it left over for lunch today. IT IS SO GOOD

    Rating: 5
  23. Wonderful! We loved it with coconut milk. It was so creamy and full of flavor. Thank you! We will definitely make it again

    Rating: 4
  24. How would you suggest adjusting cooking times if you put the chicken in the soup to cook in an Instant Pot?

    • You don’t need to adjust the cooking time. Just add the chicken with all of the other ingredients. It will cook in the soup.

  25. Made this and it was great!! I was a little hesitant about the Old Bay but it added a different flavor which made it delicious. This was my first time for using wild rice also. Great texture. I am going to try making a vegan version for my daughter. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Rating: 5
  26. I just made this soup and it is delicious! Very easy, very comforting and very flavorful. Perfect for this chilly fall day! This will be added to my meal rotation! I’m sure my family will love it when they get home this evening! I will bake some buttery dinner rolls to go with it.

  27. Just made this soup this evening, and it was delicious!!!!!! This is a winner! The only thing I would change is to add more mushrooms and sweet potatoes!

    Rating: 5
  28. I rarely comment on blogs, but this was legitimately FANTASTIC. I made it with stovetop and the rice is still a bit chewy, so I probably will cook the rice separately next time. I didn’t need to add any salt at all–I’m thinking the broth and old bay added enough flavor. This is a winner that will be in my lunch rotation all winter long.

    Rating: 5
  29. Made this using the instant pot directions exactly as written and it came out beautifully. I added a parsnip, purple carrots, and a few leeks as my veggies; everything else stayed the same. Had no issues with mushy wild rice. Definitely adding this to my soup recipe book.

    Rating: 5
    • Forgot to mention I also added two chicken breast and shredded the meat after it all cooked together. No need to adjust the cooking time.

  30. So delicious! I made it in the Crockpot and it made the house smell so good. The magic begins after the cream sauce is added. The only change I made was adding a chicken breast and shredding it towards the end. It’s a keeper!

    Rating: 5
  31. This soup is easily now one of my fall favorites.

    Rating: 5
  32. Gonna give this a go with coconut milk instead of cream sauce. I bet this would be fabulous with roast acorn squash incorporated somehow.

    Going to blend up the veggies and add chicken.

    Thanks!! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  33. This looks delicious! I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoe so could butternut squash be substituted?

  34. i made this using the stovetop method and really enjoyed it! the one thing i’d change is that i would probably sauté the mushrooms and maybe even add some dried into the mix, as i didn’t feel the soup had a very “mushroomy” flavor & i’d like to amp that up.
    thanks for the recipe!

  35. Thank you for including all the tips, variations and cooking methods for this recipe. I really appreciate the extra steps you take!

  36. This soup is perfect- thank you! Also it was re-pinned multiple times.

    Rating: 5
  37. Made this for meatless Monday in the crock pot and it was delicious. It is just the two of us and this makes a lot of soup. Have you ever frozen it?

  38. This was amazing. Follow exact recipe added chicken !! Love it !!

    Rating: 5
  39. YUMMY!!! Made this last nite and it was perfect comfort food for a rainy, dreary, autumn, meatless Monday. Only change made, I didn’t have enough wild rice, so after 30 min of simmering, I added reg. white rice and simmered an additional 15 min. Def. a keeper. Adding it to the rotation!

    Rating: 5
  40. This was fantastic, and exactly what I needed on a cold-ish autumn day. One alteration I made: I omitted the Old Bay entirely and instead added a heaping teaspoon of red miso paste to the roux when making the cream sauce. It upped the umami of the mushrooms and was phenomenal. Thank you for this!

    Rating: 5
  41. This was so fun to put together…I added roasted chicken & used spinach. SO good ! My husband had a 2nd serving. Thanks for the great recipe .

    Rating: 5
  42. AMAZING. definitely a go to from now on thanks so much! Highly suggest! Easy and delicious

    Rating: 5
  43. Ok I never leave reviews but I am so over the moon about this soup I had to. Old Bay? My mind is blown -this one ingredient that I’ve only ever used for seafood creates the perfect flavor bomb. I used stovetop method and half regular chicken broth/half no sodium and added rotisserie chicken to make it a full meal. It’s everything I love about the Panera version but chock full of healthy veggies and homemade quality. I will be making and savoring this every fall and winter.

    Rating: 5
  44. Made this for dinner tonight and it was so delicious! I used a wild rice blend and the cooking time worked out fine. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  45. Perfect cozy fall soup! Used coconut milk, so amazing for dairy free option!

  46. Soooo good!! The more I ate it, the more I liked it. I was leery about the Old Bay in it, but it turned out to be fantastic! Wonderful combinations of flavors.

    Rating: 5
  47. I made this soup it was delicious! But the rice seemed to disappear in it,wondering why?

  48. Made this today, stovetop version. Extremely easy and absolutely delicious! This is definitely a keeper!! I added shredded rotisserie chicken to mine. A very hearty meal! Thank you for sharing

    Rating: 4
  49. Posted a comment earlier and missed a Star……I give it 5 Stars

    Rating: 5
  50. This soup is amazing!!!!

    Rating: 5