Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
Are you looking for a wild rice soup recipe? Creamy vegetarian mushroom wild rice soup is so easy to make in the Instant Pot, but this recipe can be made on the stovetop if you prefer. It’s a perfect cozy autumn wild rice soup recipe! This post contains affiliate links, which means we make a small commission if you shop through them.
Creamy wild rice soup is often made with chicken or turkey, but this version is vegetarian. It includes hearty mushrooms, and we love to add chickpeas for an added protein boost.
Creamy vegetarian wild rice and mushroom soup is a hearty and nourishing dish, combining earthy wild rice, tender sautéed mushrooms, and a luscious, creamy base, creating a cozy and satisfying soup. This creamy mushroom wild rice soup reminds me a bit of our creamy Vegan Mushroom Lentil Soup, another favorite. If you love veggie and grain soups, don’t miss our Italian Vegetable and Farro Soup.
What is Wild Rice?
Wild rice, often referred to as “nature’s rice,” is a unique and nutrient-rich grain that adds a delightful element to soups, salads, and pilafs. Unlike regular white or brown rice, wild rice is not actually rice at all; it’s a type of aquatic grass seed native to North America. Its slender, dark grains have a wonderfully chewy texture and a nutty, earthy flavor that pairs exceptionally well with mushrooms in a soup.
What makes wild rice particularly great in this context is its ability to infuse the broth with a rustic, smoky essence, providing depth and complexity to the soup’s flavor profile. Moreover, wild rice is a nutritional powerhouse, boasting higher protein content, essential minerals, and dietary fiber, making your soup not only delicious but also highly nourishing.
Other Ingredients You’ll Need for Creamy Wild Rice Soup
I purchased all of the ingredients for this wild rice soup at Trader Joe’s, making this recipe inexpensive and convenient to prepare.
Mushrooms, garlic, leeks, celery, and carrots: These vegetables create an aromatic base on which to build the soup. Leeks are great in soup because they impart a mild, sweet, and onion-like flavor that enhances the overall taste without overpowering the other ingredients. However, you can use onion instead if preferred. Mushrooms add a meaty texture and umami flavor to this vegetarian wild rice soup.
Heavy cream: Heavy cream, with its rich and velvety texture, is the ideal choice for this soup recipe. It contributes a luxurious creaminess that perfectly complements the wild rice and mushrooms, giving the soup a luscious and indulgent quality. Moreover, heavy cream’s high-fat content helps to balance the earthy flavors of the ingredients, creating a harmonious and comforting bowl of soup that’s both satisfying and exceptionally delicious.
Herbs & Spices: Flavorful soups require fresh or dried herbs, as well as salt and pepper. Dried thyme and bay leaf are great options here, however, my favorite option is to use Herbs of Provence. Herbs of Provence is a fragrant blend of herbs typically including thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon, and savory, infusing the soup with a medley of aromatic and earthy notes that harmonize beautifully with the other ingredients.
Chickpeas (optional): Chickpeas are a fantastic optional addition to this vegetarian soup, providing a hearty and wholesome element that boosts both flavor and nutrition. Their slightly nutty taste and firm texture not only complement the creamy base but also increase the protein and fiber content, making the soup more filling and satisfying, while adding an appealing contrast to the tender wild rice and earthy mushrooms.
Vegetable Broth: Utilizing vegetable broth is essential for crafting a vegetarian soup, as it imparts a savory depth of flavor without relying on meat-based stock. We use Trader Joe’s vegetable broth.
Making Wild Rice Soup
This recipe comes together in a few simple steps when making it in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop. The process is very similar regardless of the method you choose. If cooking on the stovetop, be sure to get twice as much broth to account for evaporation.
Saute the mushrooms, leeks, and garlic: Sauteeing the mushrooms helps to release some of their moisture before cooking the soup. The leeks and garlic are also briefly sauteed to help release those wonderful flavors. You don’t want to sautee the carrots and celery before pressure cooking/simmering because the wild rice needs quite a while to cook.
Pressure-cook or simmer the soup: Once the wild rice, broth, and remaining ingredients (other than cream) are in the pot you’re ready to simmer or pressure-cook. Unsoaked wild rice can take 45 minutes or more to cook through. Soaked wild rice takes about half the time to cook. In this recipe, we use unsoaked wild rice, which holds up best.
Add the cream: When the soup is finished cooking and the rice is tender, it’s time to add the cream and chickpeas. Stir in until warmed through and adjust seasonings to taste. The soup will continue to thicken up a bit as the rice continues to absorb liquid. You may need to add more broth to thin.
Wild Rice Soup Frequently Asked Questions
Can I prepare this soup in advance?
Absolutely! Wild rice soup can be made in advance, then cooled and refrigerated or frozen. However, I like this soup best shortly after it’s made. I don’t recommend keeping it warm in the Instant Pot or on the stove for hours, as the rice tends to overcook and take over the soup. When reheating, take it slow to prevent overcooking the rice.
Is it possible to freeze this soup?
Yes, you can freeze wild rice soup. Once cooled, transfer it to a container suitable for freezing. It will remain good in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then warm in a pot on the stove or in the Instant Pot on the warm or low saute setting. Keep in mind the rice may continue to absorb the liquid and won’t have the same structure.
What complements this wild rice soup?
Enjoy this soup as is, or accompany it with some crusty bread or crackers on the side.
What does the wild rice soup taste like, and what’s its texture?
- The soup has a creamy, slightly thick consistency with vegetable chunks throughout.
- The flavor is earthy and mildly sweet due to the carrots, with a hint of umami from the mushrooms and thyme.
- The wild rice contributes a delightful chewiness and heartiness to the soup. Overall, it’s a very comforting and satisfying dish.
Does wild rice need to be soaked?
No, you do not need to soak wild rice for this recipe. Unlike some other grains and legumes, wild rice does not require soaking. Simply rinse the wild rice under cold water before using it in the recipe, and then cook it according to the instructions in your creamy wild rice and mushroom soup recipe.
Is it possible to make this soup vegan?
Yes, this wild rice soup is vegetarian as written but easy to make dairy-free and vegan. Use full-fat unsweetened canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Alternatively, use your favorite non-sweet dairy-free cream substitute. I love to use cashew cream (find the recipe in this Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup recipe).
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 oz. sliced white button mushroom
- 1 leek, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or Herbs of Provence
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained (optional)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Fresh thyme or parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Select saute mode (high) and add olive oil to the instant pot (or large pot if using the stove). Once hot, add the mushrooms and saute for about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the leek and garlic and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Cancel saute mode.
- Add the carrots, celery, rice, broth, herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the instant pot, seal the valve, select manual high pressure, and cook for 15 minutes. It will take about 20 minutes for the pressure to rise and start cooking.
- Once the soup is cooked, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then release the remaining pressure.
- Open the lid carefully and make sure that the rice is done. It should be chewy but not too hard. The rice will continue to cook and soften a bit so al dente is ideal. Add the chickpeas and heavy cream, and stir to combine.
- Serve in a bowl, and garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
- Feel free to select your preferred mushroom variety for this soup. While I opted for white button mushrooms, you can choose cremini, shiitake, or even oyster mushrooms according to your taste.
- Personally, I enjoy the rich flavor leeks bring to this soup, but if you have a preference, onions can also be used.
- To achieve a creamier consistency, you can increase the amount of heavy cream. For a lighter alternative, less cream, or milk can be used instead.
- To make this creamy mushroom wild rice soup on the stovetop, follow the first 2 steps above, then simmer everything other than the cream and garnish in a large pot for about 40 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through. Then add the cream. You may need more broth to account for evaporation.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 45mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.