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