Creamy Wild Rice Soup — Hearty, comforting, and loaded with chewy texture from the wild rice!! This EASY recipe is made in one pot on the stovetop, ready in no time, and perfect for chilly weather!!
Creamy Wild Rice Soup Recipe
I grew up in Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and an abundance of wild rice. Wild rice soup is a wintertime staple and since winter lasts about 9 months a year in Minnesota, I ate a ton of wild rice soup growing up.
Fast forward to the literal 95F degree late October day in my San Diego kitchen when I made this wild rice and mushroom soup, sweating with my A/C cranking as this easy soup simmered, but it was so worth it.
Wild rice actually isn’t rice at all. It’s a gluten-free grain that’s technically a grass. If you’ve never had it before, there’s a ton of texture and chewiness. Al dente city. It’s nothing like regular rice, which is far softer. And unlike regular rice, which can turn to mush in soup, the wild rice holds up beautifully.
The broth reminds me of French Onion Soup, minus the beef stock. Until I added the cream, or half-in-half in my case.
The rice seems to continue to absorb the broth as the leftover soup sits in the fridge on the following days. So if your soup is a little thin and brothy after you add the cream, don’t worry because that will absorb to a degree over time.
What’s in Creamy Wild Rice Soup?
To make this creamy wild rice soup recipe, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Vidalia onions
- Cremini mushrooms
- All-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- Poultry seasoning
- Fresh thyme
- Dried rosemary
- Uncooked wild rice
- Vegetable broth
- Bay leaves
- Heavy cream
- Fresh parsley
- Lemon juice
How to Make Wild Rice Soup
Add the oil, onion, carrots, and celery to a large stockpot and sauté until the vegetables begin to soften. Add in the mushrooms and garlic, followed by the flour.
Next, add in the salt, poultry seasoning, thyme, rosemary, pepper, wild rice, broth, and bay leaves. Allow the wild rice soup to boil fairly rapidly for about 30 minutes, or until liquid volume has reduced by nearly half.
Turn the heat down, cover, and let the wild rice soup to simmer until the rice is as done as desired. Lastly, add the cream, stir to combine, and allow soup to simmer gently until slightly thickened.
Just before serving, remove the bay leaves and stir in the parsley, lemon juice, and a pinch of sugar.
Can I Omit the Heavy Cream?
You technically don’t need it, but you can’t have creamy wild rice soup without cream.
Can I Make This Wild Rice Soup Dairy-Free?
I haven’t tried making the recipe with a dairy-free milk and I doubt you’ll get the creamy factor that real cream lends, but if you’re dairy-free or want to keep this soup vegan that’s the route to go.
Tips for Making the Best Wild Rice Soup
Although you could add bacon or cooked chicken to the soup (add it at the end with the cream), I kept the soup vegetarian. Between the onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms, you won’t miss the meat. This soup is incredibly hearty, comforting, and filling.
Mushrooms add an earthiness and heartiness that complements the wild rice beautifully. If you’re not a ‘shroom fan, you can omit them, noting your soup won’t have the depth of flavor mine has. I used a handy 10-ounce package of sliced cremini mushrooms from Trader Joe’s and also got my wild rice there.
Make sure you use real wild rice. Not a wild rice blend, not a quick-cooking wild rice, real wild rice. Wild rice gets a bad rap for being more expensive than other rice, but Trader Joe’s was only $5.49 for 1 pound and I only used half the bag for the soup.
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- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, diced small
- 1 1/2 cups carrots (from about 2 to 3 large carrots), peeled and diced into small half moons
- 1 1/2 cups celery (from about 2 to 3 large stalks), diced into small half moons
- 10 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or pressed
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed (I used Trader Joe’s; do not use a wild rice ‘blend’ or a quick-cook version)
- 64 ounces (8 cups) low-sodium vegetable broth (chicken broth may be substituted)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf or regular parsley, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional (brightens up the flavor)
- pinch sugar, optional and to taste (balances acidity and rounds out the flavor)
- To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the oil, onion, carrots, celery, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Stir nearly continuously.
- Evenly sprinkle the flour, stir to combine, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir nearly continuously.
- Add 1 teaspoon salt, poultry seasoning, thyme, rosemary, pepper, rice, broth, bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Allow soup to boil fairly rapidly for about 30 minutes, or until liquid volume has reduced by nearly half. Stir intermittently, making sure to scrape up rice that will have a tendency to stick to the bottom.
- Turn the heat to medium low, cover, and allow soup to simmer covered for about 25 minutes, or until rice is as done as desired. Note – Wild rice has much more chewiness than other rice and even when it’s done it’s very ‘al dente’.
- Uncover, add the cream, stir to combine, and allow soup to simmer gently uncovered for about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. After adding the cream, don’t allow soup to boil too aggressively because the cream can ‘break’. The soup will thicken as it cools and I find that as the leftover soup sits in the fridge, the rice continues to absorb the liquid over a few days so don’t worry if it looks a little brothy at this point.
- Remove the bay leaves, add the parsley, and stir to combine.
- Taste soup and optionally add the lemon juice, optional sugar, additional salt, pepper, etc. as desired. Amount of salt will vary based on how salty the brand of vegetable broth used is and personal preference. Serve immediately.
- Make sure you use real wild rice. Not a wild rice blend, not a quick-cooking wild rice, but real wild rice.
- Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 591Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 12391mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 5gSugar: 32gProtein: 17g
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