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?

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 | 1-Minute Video


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…

More Cozy Soup Recipes:

A few more of my faves, if you’re looking for more soup inspiration. ♡

Hope you enjoy this one, friends!

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Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup Recipe
4.8 from 321 reviews

Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

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.


Scale

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

Instructions

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, then place the lid on the slow cooker.
  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.

Notes

*Coconut Milk Option: 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!  (After making this soup dozens of times, I now prefer this option to the dairy cream sauce option.)

*Wild Rice: 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.

This post uses Amazon affiliate links.

Vegetarian Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup from Gimme Some Oven

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492 comments on “Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup”

  1. 5 stars
    This came out so good! I used the coconut milk instead of the roux and also used the crock-pot method. The coconut milk added a more creamy sweet flavor which I think balances the heat of the old bay really well. My bf isn’t too keen on the heat of the 1 and ½ tablespoons of old bay though. While it wasn’t too spicy to eat for me, it did have quite a little kick to it. If your family doesn’t handle spicy well, I would definitely do maybe one tablespoon of the old bay vs the the 1 1/2.

  2. Does it freeze well? Empty nester here.

  3. 5 stars
    Love this recipe!

  4. Wow! I made this today to bring to a work potluck. Rave reviews from all.

  5. If you replace the cream sauce with coconut milk, is the coconut flavor prominent? I don’t want the coconut to be overpowering.

  6. 5 stars
    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!

  7. 5 stars
    Easy and yummy!

  8. 5 stars
    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!

  9. 5 stars
    HH loved this soup and I did too! Delish!

  10. Had everything else, but remembered too late that I tossed out the celery because it was rather…um…fuzzy. So, in its place, I added celery seed. OMG, it smells (and tastes) so awesome…and it still have over an hour to go in the Crock Pot!

    Coconut milk on stand-by and ready to rock in T-minus 90 minutes and counting…

    This one’s a keeper! Thank you!

  11. 4 stars
    I used the stove top method, with chicken broth, Cajun seasoning, since I had no Old Bay, and collard greens as suggested as a substitute for the kale since I had them in the refrigerator. I thought it was good, but not great. Like some other reviewers, I thought there was something missing, but I can’t articulate what that missing thing was. Leftovers are in the freezer. Maybe I’ll figure out the missing link.

  12. I used spinach instead of kale, but made the mistake of adding coconut cream instead of coconut milk. It made it SWEET! So, to cut that, I added a little soy sauce, some more Old Bay, a bit more black pepper, and then it just didn’t have that certain something something. It was getting thicker by this time, though…so I added some vegan bacon bits to it and called it a chowder.

    NOT BAD! It needs a little developing to become a PROPER “chowdah” but it’s close!

    Next time, I’ll make the roux and see how it goes, but for now, I have the base for a good New England “clam” chowder – only next time I decide to make it a chodah? No spinach, obviously, and I’ll use oyster mushrooms instead of criminis and add a bit of kombu or crumbled nori.

    Oh, the places this can go!

  13. 5 stars
    YUM! Deliciously warm and textured.
    Too easy to make as well!

  14. 5 stars
    This recipe was absolutely delicious! Perfect for a cold evening. I did add chicken and the flavour was terrific. Definitely a keeper!

  15. 5 stars
    I made the soup with instant pot directions. It turned out wonderful and taste’s awesome.

  16. 5 stars
    Man, I LOVE soup season. Rice soups are so comforting and filling, so even better. This is one of those annoying reviews where I did a few things different than the recipe, but I didn’t want to go to the store. I used short grain brown rice instead of wild rice, and it held up well. It is a little mushy on reheating, but I don’t mind that one bit. Adds good body. I cooked some chicken tenders in the broth, then took them out and shredded the meat while the soup continued to cook. I added a bit of the chicken to each bowl to serve, and the hot soup warmed it up.

    Instead of roux, milk, etc. I added a can of coconut milk at the end. Rich and creamy but definitely coconutty (duh), so don’t think you won’t taste it if you happen to be feeding coconut haters. I was trying to use up some veggies, so I also added some chopped cabbage, green beans and zucchini. Overall really good, and I’m excited for all the leftovers.

  17. 5 stars
    We made this recipe using the he stovetop instructions, adding all but the milk, flour, butter and kale into the pot and used bagged 90 second wild rice and brown rice, one cup of each, we also added 1/2 a cup extra stock for the extra rice. Then followed with the roux and kale like your recipe stated. It was AMAZING! We will definitely be making this crowd pleaser again. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  18. 5 stars
    Looks so delicious! I’m planning to make it for thanksgiving! I’m just wondering if you’ve ever substituted anything different for the rice? Like tortellini or a different pasta? Just curios, looking forward to tasting it!

  19. 5 stars
    This soup is DELISH!! I followed the recipe, other than the cream sauce. I prefer a thin soup, so I just threw the butter & milk right into the pot, without any flour. Also, I used chicken broth to cook the rice. Soooo good!

  20. 5 stars
    I thought this was very good. Didn’t change a thing. Used coconut milk. Very good!

  21. Made the soup in the crockpot. Used wild rice blend—– big mistake!!! Soup turned into mush :0( tastes fantastic otherwise. Will try again in the near future.

  22. 5 stars
    I made this (and omitted adding the cream) and still thought it was delicious ! My only advice is to cook the rice separate and then add it to your individual bowl of soup before you eat. Otherwise it can turn out a little too mushy and absorb too much of the broth…

  23. 5 stars
    This soup is amazing!! I love that it’s thick and hearty, so perfect for this chilly weather. I made it in the crock pot, added some precooked shredded chicken in the last two hours of cooking, and skipped the roux and used almond milk + cornstarch mixed together on the stove which worked beautifully. Thank you for a great recipe!

  24. forgot the stock at the store so i used water instead & organic coconut milk. This recipe is AMAZING still!!! i can only imaging what it tastes like with vegetable stock… or maybe even italian sausage??

  25. I cooked this tonight and it will be a recipe my children find in my recipe box when I die! Delicious! I used vegetable broth and added two chicken breasts. I did add about 2 extra cups of broth. Highly recommend.

  26. 5 stars
    Made this the vegan way with coconut milk tonight and it was so good that my partner (a carnivore) and I both had two bowls! No need to make the roux with the coconut milk, just throw it in with the kale. Easy and delicious!

  27. 4 stars
    Made this tonight on the stovetop and really enjoyed it! We were feeling like a clearer broth so left out the cream sauce but it was still very tasty (although I know the cream base is traditional!). I also poached a chicken breast in the soup then removed and shredded like Ali suggested. Will definitely make again!

  28. 5 stars
    Yum! I made this tonight with a couple modifications (not many) – i added potato instead of sweet potato and I used 8 cups of stock instead of 6. I added the chicken breasts which were a nice touch. I also used italian seasonig because I did not have old bay, and it turned out well. next time since I added 8 cups of stock I would add another cup of rice . I can see what others mean when they say something seems missing but I think this is really good for a basic weeknight meal!

  29. Can I substitute evaporated milk for the coconut milk? If it doesn’t substitute well, I can get coconut milk – I just have evaporated milk in my pantry already! Thanks :)

  30. 5 stars
    This soup is absolutely fantastic! I made it for company and everyone had seconds and even thirds. It was so good that I made it again the same week. This recipe is a keeper!

  31. 5 stars
    I just made this! Perfect for the chilly weather! However I replaced the wile rice with quinoa and it tasted so good 😍

  32. Has anyone had success freezing the leftovers??

  33. 5 stars
    This soup was so worth all the chopping
    Definitely a keeper!

  34. This was YUMMY!! Only modifications I made was to sauté the mushrooms before adding to soup, used a russet potato instead of sweet potato ( because I didn’t have one) , used a mix of wild and white rice , and also added thinly sliced pan fried chicken breast and a teaspoon of freshly diced ginger . Was awesome!! Both hubby and I had second helpings :) will for sure be making this again

  35. 5 stars
    Yummy soup!!!!!!

  36. 5 stars
    I just made this – amazing!! So warm and very filling and good for you!

  37. 5 stars
    OMG yum! Super simple to make and ready in no time. I cheated and used bag-o-frozen veggies… Because you use what you have! I also did chicken instead of sweet potato and it was wonderful.

    Next round I’ll try the sweet potatoes and coconut milk for a veggie friendly soup. I’m sure it will be just as lush.

  38. 5 stars
    Everything went perfectly cooking it in a crock pot on high for 4 hours – even cooked the chicken perfectly where I could pull it apart when done. I see what the other comments are saying about it needing something. Try smoked paprika! It did the trick for me. A little goes a long way. Yummy soup!!

  39. 5 stars
    I made this soup using Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice and added the seasoning packet that came with it. No other changes to your recipe, and it was the best soup ever!! The crusty loaf of bread was the perfect add to the meal! Yum!!

  40. I loved this recipe, but wish you had a computer friendly version.

  41. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe. Tasted awesome. Highly recommended. I added hello kitty pasta noodles instead of rice.

  42. Just finished making this as my work lunch meal prep for the week and I am now very much looking forward to lunch breaks this week. Smells incredible! I added a can of chickpeas for a protein boost. I am not a vegetarian but for a variety of reasons try to stick to vegetarian at least one meal a day. This recipe will be staying in my rotation!

  43. When do you put the coconut milk in?

  44. 5 stars
    ❤️❤️❤️👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  45. This recipe was easy to follow. It was perfect! We enjoyed it thoroughly! I will absolutely save this, share this, and make it again!

  46. 5 stars
    Loved this soup. I left out the sweet potatoes as I don’t like them. I replaced the kale with baby spinach and I used leeks instead of onion. My broth/sauce was darker like mushroom soup instead of the nice bright color of the picture on the recipe. It did not detract from the taste though, it was awesome! I would have posted a picture but didn’t seem to be able to.

  47. 5 stars
    This probably has to be the best looking soup I ve seen on the web recently! Not gonna miss the chance to try it:) keep up your amazing work!

  48. 5 stars
    I made this soup and it is very hearty and delicious and it is vegan. I made my own broth and added Better Than Bullion to it. My family enjoyed it as well. I will be making it again.

  49. 5 stars
    Delightful recipe! Made in advance of Thanksgiving to serve as an easy lunch for visiting guests. Cooked rice separately based on other reviews. Reheated well. Guests were happy to take containers of leftovers. Thank you!

  50. 5 stars
    Delicious! My sweet potatoe was purple so my soup looked more like refreshed Beans not pretty but taste was amazing! Did not realize sweet potatoes come in different colors