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Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup

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This Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup is made with fresh seasonal vegetables and greens, hearty wild rice, and a deliciously zesty, creamy broth (made with either coconut milk or cream). Instant Pot and stovetop options included!

Who’s ready to warm up with a bowl of wild rice soup? ♡

This cozy autumn wild rice soup has become one of our readers’ favorite recipes here on Gimme Some Oven these past few winters and is also hands-down one of my personal all-time faves on the blog as well. It’s loaded up with lots of my favorite fresh seasonal produce, from sweet potatoes to kale, mushrooms, carrots, celery and onions. It’s made nice and hearty with the addition of wild rice, which just so happens to be lower in calories and higher in protein than many other rices. But best of all, it is made with the most irresistible broth, seasoned with garlic and “the bays,” as I call them, and made creamy with either the addition of coconut milk, cream or a roux-based cream sauce.

After having originally written this recipe with the cream sauce, I have to say that I — as well as so many of you readers — have become much more partial to the coconut version over the past few years, which I think adds the perfect hint of sweetness to the broth to balance out all of those savory flavors, and just so happens to make this recipe vegan too. So for any of you who haven’t tried that version yet, or this soup in general, I thought I would bump it back to the top of the blog today while we’re right in the heart of cozy comfort food season. I’ve included instructions below for how to make either the dairy or vegan versions, as well as instructions for how to make this soup in either the Instant Pot (my fave), Crock-Pot, or on the stovetop. And of course, if you’re craving some nostalgic chicken and wild rice soup, you’re always welcome to toss some shredded chicken in here as well.

More than anything, though, I just wanted to pop in and say how happy I am that so many of you have tried and loved this soup! It always means so much to me to read your comments and see photos of your dinner online. So cheers to the cozy recipes that keep us all warm this time of year…and now let’s make some soup!

Autumn Wild Rice Soup Recipe (Vegan Version) | 1-Minute Video

Wild Rice Soup Ingredients

Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few quick notes about the ingredients you will need to make this wild rice soup recipe:

  • Wild rice: I love using 100% wild rice in this recipe, which is different than a wild rice blend or black rice (which, look out, will turn your soup purple!). That said, though, you are welcome to use whatever type of rice you prefer in this soup. Just note that different varieties of rice will require different cooking times.
  • Vegetable stock: You could use either vegetable stock or chicken stock as the base for this soup.
  • Autumn veggies: A seasonal blend of sweet potato, carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms and garlic.
  • The “bays”: I’m a big fan of using Old Bay seasoning and a bay leaf to season this soup. But if you don’t have Old Bay on hand, I have included some alternate seasoning options below.
  • Coconut milk or cream sauce: I prefer the vegan version of this soup made with coconut milk, which I believe adds the perfect touch of creamy sweetness to balance out all of those savory flavors. But alternately, you could choose to make a cream sauce (made from milk and thickened with a flour/butter roux), or you could just add in some half and half or heavy cream to taste.
  • Greens: I love adding lots of fresh kale to this soup, but baby spinach, collard greens, or any other soup-friendly greens that you have in the crisper drawer would do.
  • Salt & pepper: As always, for seasoning!

How To Make Wild Rice Soup

As mentioned, I have included detailed instructions below for how to make this wild rice soup recipe either in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) or on the stovetop. But in general, the method is to…

  1. Cook the base of the soup. Whichever cooking method you choose, we will simmer the veggies and rice in the broth (sans cream) until the rice is completely tender.
  2. (Optional) Make your cream sauce. If you choose to use the cream sauce method, you can prepare the cream sauce in a separate saucepan while the soup cooks by melting the butter, whisking in the flour, stirring in the milk and cooking the mixture until thickened. (Or you can skip this step and add in a can of coconut milk or some half and half instead.)
  3. Add in the coconut milk (or cream sauce) and kale. Once the rice is ready to go, stir in the coconut milk (or cream sauce) and kale until combined. Then taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve. And serve it up nice and warm! I love serving this soup with some crusty bread and a simple green salad. Also, note that the soup will continue to thicken as it cools. So if it gets too thick, feel free to add in extra broth and Old Bay, to taste.

Recipe Variations

This recipe is quite flexible, so feel free to experiment with whatever ingredient variations sound good! For example, you could…

  • Add chicken: To make chicken and wild rice soup, you can either add pre-cooked diced or shredded chicken to the soup. Or you can poach a raw chicken breast in the soup while the rice cooks, then remove, shred, and add it back into the soup before serving.
  • Use a different seasoning: This soup would taste delicious with a variety of different seasoning blends (in place of Old Bay), such as Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence.
  • Make it milder. Old Bay seasoning is mildly spicy, so if you prefer your soup with less heat, I would begin with just 2 teaspoons of Old Bay. Then you can always add more to taste later, if you would like.
  • Make it gluten-free: The vegan version of this soup is naturally gluten-free. But if you are making the dairy version and would like to thicken the broth a bit, I would recommend adding a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cold water and cornstarch mixed together) to the soup until it reaches your desired consistency.

More Vegetarian Soup Recipes

Looking for some more simple, cozy, vegetarian soup recipes this season? Here are a few more of our faves… ♡

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Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

This Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup features fresh seasonal produce, hearty wild rice, and a zesty creamy broth. The vegan version of the soup is listed here in this recipe, or see options below for the cream sauce version.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (or see cream sauce option below*)
  • 2 large handfuls of kale, roughly chopped with thick stems removed
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Method:

  1. Combine base ingredients. 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. Pressure cook. Cover and cook on manual (high pressure) for 25 minutes.  Let the Instant Pot rest and naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes.  Then carefully open the vent and quick release the remaining pressure.  Remove lid and discard the bay leaf.
  3. Add final ingredients. Add the coconut milk 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.
  4. Serve. Serve warm and enjoy!

Stovetop Method:

  1. Sauté the veggies. Heat (an extra) 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil 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 base ingredients. Add in the vegetable stock, wild rice, mushrooms, carrots, celery, sweet potato, bay leaf and Old Bay seasoning.  Stir to combine.
  3. Simmer. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add final ingredients. Add the coconut milk 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. Serve warm and enjoy!


Notes

Wild rice: I used 100% wild rice which I love and recommend for this soup.  Cooking time may vary if you use a wild rice blend or a different type of rice.

Alternate cream sauce recipe: In place of the coconut milk, you can either add 1 1/2 cups half and half.  Or you can make a cream sauce by melting 3 tablespoons of butter in a (separate) saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking in 1/4 cup flour for one minute, and then whisking in 1 1/2 cups milk until the mixture is smooth.  Let the sauce cook until it nearly reaches a simmer, at which point it will thicken, then remove from heat and add the sauce to the soup once the rice has completely cooked.

Crock-Pot (Slow Cooker) Option: I decided to remove the Crock-Pot option from the recipe instructions because we have unfortunately found slow cookers to be too inconsistent in making this recipe. Different brands/models have proven to vary dramatically in terms of the cooking time required to fully soften the rice and vegetables, and too much of the broth can evaporate if the lid is not fully secure. I recommend the Instant Pot or stovetop options instead. But if you want to cook this soup in a slow cooker, just follow the Instant Pot method and slow cooker (instead of pressure cook) the soup as directed in Step 2 until the rice and veggies are tender.

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1,468 comments on “Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup”

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  1. I am in love with this recipe! The old Bay seasoning gives it a nice warmth and the coconut milk is a scrumptious thickener with a hint of sweetness. I’m enjoying the first chilly days of autumn with this!

  2. Delish..will keep it rotation!

  3. This is amazing soup. My husband loved it too. It’s on our dinner rotation now for sure. Two improvements are needed however. The wild rice has a longer cooking time than the vegetables, so I would add them some time after the rice. And as another commenter mentioned, there is a flavor imbalance. It needs acidity, and adding chili powder is my best guess. I also recommend doubling the Old Bay and adding quite a bit of salt, up to 2 teaspoons. I used coconut milk instead of the dairy version, so that could be why it needed a little boost.

  4. I make this soup throughout the fall and winter. In fact it has become a Halloween tradition in our house, a filling and nutritious bowl of soup before we hit the streets trick or treating. I have always made mine it in the slow cooker and it works every time!
    Delicious recipe and now firmly a family staple in our house.
    Thank you for this delicious soup!

  5. The perfect fall soup!! My husband is a cabinet refinisher and works hard long days. He loved it!! I was so happy that it cheered him up. The kiddos loved it too. Will definitely be making it again.

  6. This is amazing! I did add ground chicken the first time I made it and doing ground turkey today. I meal prep and loved this so much I couldn’t wait for more! Highly recommend!

  7. This recipe is incredible! My husband wasn’t sure about this one until I said we could add chicken. We have made it twice in the last 3 weeks and eat on it for a few nights for dinner. It is so yummy!! It is a keeper and we will be making it often.

  8. It was alright. Felt like it was missing something and I’m honestly not sure what. Maybe it was the coconut milk instead of using cream like I typically do? Probably won’t make again.

  9. I made this today and while cooking thought to myself “Wow that’s a ton of Old Bay seasoning”, wish I would have listened to my instincts
    I had to throw out the whole pot.It was overpowering in spice and I love Old Bay…but this was insane.Even my daughter who came to visit said what the heck is that smell in here mom? My husband who actually likes spicy foods said no way was he eating it. Sorry not sure if there was an error in measurements but 1 and half tbsp. Of Old Bay was overkill.

  10. Definitely added waaaay more seasoning than called for – a medley of Dash seasoning blends, garlic powder and onion powders. I also added double the amount of mushrooms and felt like it still wasn’t enough, will probably triple mushrooms next time (but I looove mushrooms). I opted for cashew milk to make it creamy and did end up using cornstarch to thicken. It was very creamy after I let it all cook down and thicken up.

  11. Can i make the rice separately and add it later if I’m making ahead? I worry that the rice will soak up all the broth if I make it with the rest of the vegetables.

  12. This soup is Resturant quality. Full of flavor, no meat is needed, this is a hearty soup. Great with a warm bread!
    I followed the directions as posted, I did add more chicken stock towards the end of cooking to thin out just a little bit. I also added more stock prior to storing in the refrigerator. This will be one of my new go to soups.

  13. Made this soup tonight and it was fabulous. Flavorful, easy, not the quickest to prepare but worth every minute of prep time. No changes made, nor do I wish I made any. Highly recommend! Thank you.

  14. Definitely a 5-star recipe. I followed it pretty close. I added spinach instead of kale, and ground Italian seasoning instead of Old Bay, and a wild rice blend instead of wild rice…other than those three, I went right by the recipe and it is fabulous!!! The coconut milk definitely is a star ingredient in this fantastic soup. This has got to be one my favorite soups…ever!

  15. *chef’s kiss* This was outstanding. I dont like mushrooms so I subbed with a turkey smoked sausage. I also subbed Old Bay for Tony Chachre’s Cajun Seasoning. I do believe the marriage of the coconut milk and the Tony’s makes this unique and rich tasting. For those who are not crazy about wild rice, this recipe is for you! PERFECT fall soup!

  16. Seriously. I’m obsessed. And even my teenage daughter who “ugh, hates mushrooms” loves this soup! I make it about once a week – sometimes I throw in some crumbled italian sausage too. And serving it with toasted sourdough bread is a MUST.

  17. I did the half and half cream version, yummm! Subbed butternut squash for sweet potato and added sausage. Next time will make rice separately for reheating purposes!

  18. Hi Ali!

    My husband and I love this recipe so much we’re going to begin offering it at our restaurant in Chattanooga this week! Are you okay with us using your pics if we tag you in our posts and give credit for the recipe? 🙏🏻

  19. Can you freeze this soup?

  20. Deliciously simple recipe producing a hearty and appropriately named, ‘cozy autumn wild rice soup.’

    I almost doubled the recipe, but only used 1 can of coconut milk, to keep it lighter. It didn’t seem to compromise the sweet and creaminess of the final product. I also added the mushrooms earlier with the onions and subbed a sprouted wild rice blend because that is what I had in the pantry. Regarding the Old Bay seasoning, I followed the recipe and I think it was the perfect amount. Like Ali says, it does deliver some heat, my sister who can’t tolerate heat would want to use less of the OB and substitute with onion and garlic salt, but as for me and my house, we welcome a little kick, so it was perfect.

    This is the perfect celebration of fall in a pot!

  21. I am always asked for the recipe when I serve or share this soup.

  22. This was fabulous. My lunch guests raved. I will definitely make it again. I paired the soup with the BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD WITH APPLE AND WALNUTS and the combo was especially nice.

    When I put away the leftovers, I noticed that a lot of wild rice was in the bottom of the pot (not stuck to the bottom, just sunk to the bottom). Next time I will be sure and scoop from the bottom of the pot to more evenly distribute the rice.

  23. Switched the kale to baby spinach, the carrots to parsnips and the coconut milk to heavy cream. Then I added italian sausage. It was a HUGE hit!! I couldn’t get the rice to cook well the way the recipe was written so next time, I am going to try cooking the rice first.

  24. Made it in the Instant Pot and it was a hit in our house! I think I’d prefer for it to be kicked up a notch so I’ll be adding jalapeños to the next batch. It was very good!

  25. Wow – this is absolutely delicious!
    It’s a new family favorite. Thanks for sharing. I read some of the other reviews, and I did end up doubling the Old Bay. I also added some 21 seasoning. I tried the coconut milk version, and it was delish.

  26. This soup is INSANE!! It’s way better than I thought it would be, honestly. It’s hearty, packed with flavor, and is the perfect texture. It’s going to be a staple in my meal rotations forever, and I can’t wait to make it for guests. It’s very easy and makes a decent amount, enough that we froze some (which reheated perfectly). I did the cream sauce option instead of coconut milk, otherwise followed the recipe exactly. You can also add variety with Cajun hot sauce, sausage, or shrimp, all versions I tried were extremely tasty. Thank you for this recipe!!!

  27. How long would you say this keeps in the fridge? Do you find it freezes well? Thanks!