Best Wild Rice Soup

This wild rice soup recipe is impossibly creamy, packed with flavor and full of tender veggies and hearty rice. Everyone asks for the recipe—it’s that good.

Wild rice soup

This post was created in partnership with Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove; all opinions are our own.

It may look like just a bowl of wild rice soup, but to us, it’s much more than that. This bowl of decadent creamy soup is a peak into our philosophy on food (yep, we’re going deep!). Alex and I think food should be three things: nourishing, delicious, and community-building. And this soup is all three.

It’s made 100% of fresh and healthy veggies, but it’s so savory and creamy you’d never know it. Let’s just say “best soup ever” was mumbled more than once around the table as we downed spoonfuls. We served this at a Cozy Dinner Party we had recently. It’s all the things food should be⁠—and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Also try: This Wild Rice Mushroom Soup with Parmesan!

Creamy wild rice soup dinner party

The philosophy

This recipe and dinner party are in honor of our friends at Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. What we love about the brand is that they’re not only passionate about making the highest quality refrigeration, cooking, and dishwashing appliances (you may remember we use a Cove dishwasher in our kitchen!), but we share a similar philosophy that extends beyond the kitchen. Living deliciously is all about setting down our phones, picking up our forks, and relishing every succulent, savory, sweet taste of the good life.

What to serve with creamy wild rice soup
Cozy dinner party menu

The menu

This wild rice soup was the star of our Cozy Dinner Party! We hosted it to enjoy the coming cool weather and a visit from my sister. She’s currently relocating to the US from Southeast Asia, so it’s incredible to spend quality time together, whereas in the past its been so few and far between.

Another reason for the party: I’m a summer girl, so practicing getting “cozy” for the cool weather is a skill I need to cultivate! The way to get through the winter months for me is all about getting cozy and making all the tasty seasonal foods: like soup! What did we pair with it? A fresh salad, a signature cocktail, and crisp bread.

Here’s the full Cozy Dinner Party menu:

Best game for dinner parties

The memories

One of our favorite dinner party tips: make a Question Jar. Even in a dinner party with people you know intimately, it can be so much fun to have conversation starters to discuss throughout the meal. Excited to have my sister back home, it made for a fun way to guide conversation and talk about things we might not have otherwise. Of course, this is especially nice if you have people who are meeting for the first time!

Here’s an example of some of our questions:

  • What is the thing you’re most passionate about right now?
  • If you could start a business today, what would it be?
  • What is one thing you’d change about yourself?
  • What is one goal you have in the next 6 months?
  • Where do you want to travel next?
  • If you could master one new skill, what would it be?

Do you have any great get-to-know-you questions? Let us know in the comments below!

Wild rice soup

How to make wild rice soup

This wild rice soup is pretty darn incredible, if we do say so ourselves. It’s creamy, it’s cozy, it’s savory: yet somehow, it’s made 100% of plants. Yes, this is secretly a vegan wild rice soup (don’t tell anyone). But after you make it, you’ll swear that somehow a little heavy cream got mixed in. It’s perfectly seasoned, and you might not be able to stop eating it (we weren’t!). Per my sister: “This is really the best soup ever.

While it takes about 1 hour to make, this healthy dinner recipe is 100% worth the effort. And since most of that time is hands off, it works as an easy dinner idea, too. What are our secrets to how to make the best wild rice soup?

  • Use cashews. Blended cashews can stand in for dairy! You’ll let them soak while the soup simmers. Then you’ll take 2 cups of the soup out (veggies and all) and blend it with the soaked cashews. It makes for the creamiest base EVER. You’ll swear there’s dairy in it. (For a nut allergy, go to Wild Rice Mushroom Soup.)
  • Add white beans and mushrooms. Because there’s no chicken in it (sorry, meat lovers!), this wild rice soup features white beans as a plant-based protein. It’s a unique addition and seriously good. Mushrooms also bring in big flavor and texture.
  • Simmer until the rice pops. Wild rice notoriously takes quite a while to cook: upwards of 50 minutes. You’ll cook this soup until most of the rice grains burst and are tender. It might feel like a long time, but it’s important that the rice is perfectly tender.

If you have an Instant Pot, this soup is modeled after our Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup one of our most fan-favorite recipes. Head to that recipe to get the Instant Pot instructions.

Wild rice soup
Best game for dinner parties

This wild rice soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Wild rice soup

Best Wild Rice Soup (Family Favorite!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (276 votes, average: 3.91 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x

Description

This wild rice soup recipe is impossibly creamy, packed with flavor and full of tender veggies and hearty rice. Everyone asks for the recipe—it’s that good.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews*
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup wild rice (not a wild rice blend)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos

Instructions

  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water. Leave them to soak while you make the recipe.
  2. Dice the onion. Thinly slice the celery. Cut the carrot into rounds. Slice the mushrooms. Mince the garlic.
  3. Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and oregano and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, wild rice, 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Then add the beans (drained and rinsed), and continue to simmer uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes more, or until rice breaks open.
  5. Using a liquid cup measure, carefully remove 2 cups of the hot soup (including broth, veggies and rice) to a blender. Add 1 cup water. Drain the cashews and add them to the blender, along with the dried sage. Blend on high for about 1 minute until creamy. Then pour the creamy mixture back into the soup.
  6. Add the soy sauce and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Garnish with fresh ground pepper.

Notes

*We used raw cashews. If your cashews are salted, you may need to adjust and add a little less salt at the end. For a nut allergy, go to Wild Rice Mushroom Soup.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Plant Based

Keywords: Wild Rice Soup

Looking for soup recipes?

Here are a few more soup recipes we’d recommend for a cozy dinner party:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

62 Comments

  • Reply
    Maggie
    October 9, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    this soup is SO good! I made the instant pot version last year and it was one of my favorite recipes of the entire soup season (which for me is whenever it drops below 70 degrees :))

    one of my favorite get to know you questions – what is your favorite go-to meal for yourself when no one else is around?

  • Reply
    Margaret Parker
    October 14, 2019 at 8:34 am

    I can’t eat nuts but do eat dairy – is there any way I can substitute the cashews for dairy? What would you suggest?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      October 14, 2019 at 9:26 am

      Yes you can definitely do dairy instead! I’d do the same method but use 1/2 cup heavy cream to blend with the soup at the end. Let us know what you think!

      • Reply
        Mary
        October 10, 2020 at 11:02 am

        Use a wild rice blend?

        • Reply
          Sonja Overhiser
          October 12, 2020 at 9:05 am

          Hi there! No, I meant use the cream in the blender with the soup at the end. Use only straight wild rice in this recipe, not a blend with other types of rice!

  • Reply
    Kerri
    October 14, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    This looks amazing. Unfortunately, I can’t do legumes/pulses – can I substitute anything for the white beans? Many thanks!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      October 15, 2019 at 9:08 am

      Hi Kerri! Thanks for asking! We think that you could probably omit the white beans and it would still be tasty! If you eat meat, you may want to add some chicken for protein: or just make sure to eat other filling plant based proteins alongside. Let us know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 19, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    This soup is AMAZING!!! I actually think it’s my new favorite soup, which is saying a lot since I have collected some really great soup recipes in the past few years :) I am so glad you reposted it with the stove top method; I don’t have an instant pot, so I doubt I’d ever have tried the recipe otherwise! The flavors are just perfect and it’s so hearty and filling. We served it tonight with your roasted beet salad and homemade vinaigrette and we were practically happy-dancing in our chairs :) Thank you so much for sharing this! The entire meal will definitely be going into our regular rotation!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      October 20, 2019 at 7:46 pm

      Wow we are SO so glad to hear this! What a very kind note. We are thrilled that you loved it and also that you made it with the beet salad! It’s so meaningful to have “shared” a meal together even if it was separated by time and space. Thank you for trying it out!!!

  • Reply
    Marcia
    November 12, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Hi! I made this soup for the first time and we absolutely LOVE it! It’s my new favorite and I’m going to try it out, along with the beet salad and some homemade crusty bread for a dinner party. Thanks so much for these wonderful recipes. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 35 years and these are wonderful new additions to my stash!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      November 13, 2019 at 11:22 am

      We are so so glad to hear this! We’re so glad you enjoyed it. It’s very good with the salad too — let us know when you try that! Thanks so much for letting us know!

  • Reply
    Angela
    November 22, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Hi,
    I absolutely LOVED this soup. Made it tonight! I see there are 266 calories/serving and there are ~8 servings–how big is a serving? A cup? Also, instead of adding 2 cans of white beans (I only had 1) I did 1 can and added 1c of barley. This soup is AMAZING!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      November 23, 2019 at 12:51 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it! A serving is about 1.5 to 2 cups.

  • Reply
    Leianna Ornik
    December 5, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Absolutely delicious. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. Sincerely thank you.?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      December 5, 2019 at 9:06 am

      You’re welcome! So glad you love it :)

  • Reply
    Rachel
    December 10, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Hi! Thanks for your recipe. I need a tip— my cashews did now process into a creamy mixture at the end making the soup with really small cashew pieces in the broth. The flavor is good but I’m not fond of the texture. Any ideas of where I went wrong? Thanks :)

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      December 11, 2019 at 9:22 am

      Hmm interesting! Can you tell me what kind of blender you’re using: is it good and powerful? It could just be that your blender is not up to the task? Also, just to make sure: you soaked the cashews while the soup cooked? And you blended with broth and veggies from the soup?

    • Reply
      R. C.
      June 23, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      Whenever I’m using a cashew puree I simmer them first. Bring to a boil, let cook on low 5 minutes, then drain and cool before blending. It makes them blend more easily, especially for lower power blenders.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    December 12, 2019 at 8:21 am

    I actually used a good food processor instead of a blender. And yes— I soaked the cashews in water for about an hour and put those in the processor with the 2 cups of soup, cup of water, and sage. :-)
    Is it possible to use coconut milk instead of the cashew cream? If so, how much would you recommend using? Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Rachel
      December 12, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      I mean coconut cream*

  • Reply
    Sonja Overhiser
    December 12, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Ahh we think the food processor is the culprit! A blender could be better if you have one. If not, maybe blend for longer in the food processor next time — maybe for several minutes and scrape a bunch? It should come out SUPER creamy and the cashews totally blended in. Re coconut cream: we haven’t worked with coconut cream much, so I can’t weigh in there! I’d think it might give too much of a coconut-y flavor to the broth though — the cashews are rich without adding competing flavors. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Uilani
    January 4, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    This recipe tastes as good as it looks. I’ve been eye balling it for a few days now – just had to get some wild rice. And MAN IT IS GOOD. I’m picky about recipes, extremely so with soup recipea. The two year old even liked it. A cup and a half is so filling- hubby got full from it. I got full at about a cup. Thumbs up all around. So good. You’d never know it was entirely plant-based. Can’t rave about it enough.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 6, 2020 at 10:28 am

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  • Reply
    Destiny
    January 5, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Hi:) is there anything I could use in place of the mushrooms?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 6, 2020 at 10:20 am

      Hi! You can just omit the mushrooms if desired.

  • Reply
    Stephi
    January 7, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!! I made this last night for our dinner and my husband and I LOVED it so so much! I did not have any dried sage on hand, so used herbes de provence instead, and WOW delicious and hearty! I will surly make this again! THANKS!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 7, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      Awesome! Glad you love it :)

  • Reply
    Kara
    January 12, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    This soup is AMAZING. We added an orange bell pepper but otherwise followed the recipe. Highly recommend it! Thank you both for creating recipes that our family always love!

  • Reply
    Juliana Inhofer
    January 29, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I just made this soup following the recipe exactly and it is not at all creamy like the picture or how I expected. When I saw that I had to 8 cups of broth, I was concerned but followed exactly. When it didn’t look creamy after the first 2 cups were blended in with the cashews I even went back and blended another cup and it is still not creamy. What could have possibly occurred that I did not get the creaminess you show in the picture?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 29, 2020 at 3:57 pm

      I’m sorry it didn’t work out! Do you know how long your cashews soaked?

      • Reply
        Anonymous
        January 29, 2020 at 5:04 pm

        I am going to estimate they soaked at least 45 minutes or so. I was wondering if the extra cup of water you add when blending was the issue but that seems odd. I seem to have more of a consistency of everything being very finely chopped from the blender but lacking the creaminess that was expected. Any hints on how to save this massive pot of watery soup is appreciated.

        • Reply
          Alex Overhiser
          January 29, 2020 at 5:09 pm

          I’d try blending a portion again and make sure you have some of the beans and rice to the blender. These add to the overall creaminess!

      • Reply
        Juliana Inhofer
        January 29, 2020 at 5:08 pm

        I soaked them for 45 minutes or so at least. I used a ninja type food processor/ blender as opposed to a traditional blender. Could that be the problem? The consistency is like finely chopped up ingredients instead of blended into a creamy texture.

  • Reply
    Bammie Morgan
    January 31, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    I was excited about your Best Wild Rice Soup just from reading about it. You really sold it! I made the soup last night and it turned out AMAZING! My boyfriend tried to talk me out of taking it to work so we could eat it all ourselves, but I really wanted to share with others. It was a huge success! I even won a silver ladle trophy for Best Veggie Soup. Now I have to go home and make another batch just for us. Thank you for sharing this wonderful “Award Winning” recipe!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 31, 2020 at 8:19 pm

      Hah! Glad you loved it :)

  • Reply
    Sarah
    February 4, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    Okay, dumbest question ever? Maybe. Is “dried” the same as “ground” as far as spices go? Because a tablespoon of ground oregano/thyme seems like a TON, but I don’t know what dried oregano/thyme/sage is. Help a clueless cook out. Lol

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      February 5, 2020 at 9:25 am

      Not a dumb question! And no, they aren’t the same. We generally call for dried “whole” herbs unless ground is specifically stated. Dried thyme looks like this: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=thyme&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

      For sage, it should just say sage or rubbed sage on the bottle.

      • Reply
        Sarah
        February 5, 2020 at 3:22 pm

        Thanks so much. That makes way more sense!

  • Reply
    Robin
    March 1, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    We LOVE this soup, and it’s been on our regular rotation! Thank you for sharing it! I did go heavy on all the veggies to make it even heartier. So amazing, and it’s been a crowd pleaser when we’ve had neighbors over for dinner.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 2, 2020 at 11:38 am

      So glad you’ve been enjoying it!

  • Reply
    leah
    March 28, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    Made this soup tonight and it was DELICIOUS!! My husband and I both loved it. It’s already on our list of favorites that I’m sure we’ll make over and over again. Thanks you so much for sharing it!!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 28, 2020 at 11:19 pm

      You’re welcome! So glad you enjoyed.

  • Reply
    Hayley Vella
    July 9, 2020 at 6:37 am

    Hi there! QUick question for you. Could I replace wild rice with black rice in the recipe? Or will that change the consistency of the soup? THanks :)

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      July 9, 2020 at 11:31 am

      Hi! I don’t have experience with black rice, so I’m not sure. Sorry!

  • Reply
    SARA STERGIADIS
    July 20, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Can this soup be frozen for later after making it?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      July 20, 2020 at 8:10 pm

      Yes, it freezes well. Just thaw in refrigerator before warming it up.

  • Reply
    Lora
    November 13, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Hi! Would coconut milk work in place of the cashew purée for the creamy element?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      November 13, 2020 at 8:00 pm

      I would steer away from coconut milk since it has a very strong coconut flavor. Perhaps you could try a bit of oat milk pureed with part of the soup? It wouldn’t be as rich but could potentially do the trick (if you’re trying to stay vegan). In that case, I would skip the “add 1 cup water” and just add about 1 cup oat milk and no cashews. Or you could do any type of dairy milk or cream if you eat dairy.

  • Reply
    Morgan Smith
    November 21, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I made this last night, had to substitute more oregano for thyme as the store didn’t have any. It turned out great! And sitting overnight let the flavors marry so when I heated up some leftovers this afternoon it was even better. I will definitely make this again, it really helped up my veggie intake.

  • Reply
    Anna
    November 29, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Can I use a wild rice blend instead of straight wild rice? I know you mention to not use it but that’s what I have and hoping I can make that work.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    December 11, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Fantastic soup!

  • Reply
    Kathi
    January 4, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    We’re big soup fans especially in the middle of northern Ohio winters. This one is definitely going in the rotation. Just made it for the first time and we LOVE everything about it!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 4, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    January 8, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    We made this soup last week. At first I was so nervous about using the cashews, but it was awesome! I was pleasantly surprised!!! Thanks for this awesome addition

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 9, 2021 at 10:30 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  • Reply
    Dora
    January 13, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Can the wild rice be cooking separately and added in layer? It seems to lose a lot of water when I simmer it for the given time.

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      January 18, 2021 at 11:22 am

      You can definitely cook it separately if you prefer! We’ve had that happen but realized that we had the heat on too high. Check your heat level and make sure that it’s on low when you’re simmering!

  • Reply
    Jenny
    January 14, 2021 at 12:48 am

    Excited to try this! Any chance you could you substitute the mushrooms for potatoes?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      January 18, 2021 at 11:21 am

      We haven’t tried it with potatoes before! You could simply leave out the mushrooms if you don’t love them (though they add great savory flavor!). But you could add and try at your own risk. Let us know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    January 17, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    I just made this soup today. I’m on a Daniel Fast and came across this recipe. The only downfall is that my cashew/soup puree didn’t get really creamy. There are fine bits of cashews still, after reading some tif the comments I’m thinking that my food processor may be the cause of this. The soup is still delicious. I love chicken and wild rice soup. This is a great and hearty alternative.

  • Reply
    Kelley
    January 18, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Made this soup tonight for dinner and it is the BEST! So hearty and flavorful, I felt like I was eating in a fancy restaurant (extra bonus during these long pandemic days!). Thanks for this great recipe, will definitely be checking out your others!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 19, 2021 at 9:20 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for making it :)

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