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Creamy Wild Rice Soup – 101 Cookbooks

Do yourself a favor and buy a couple bags of wild rice. Now cook up a big pot, be patient, wait for the rice to plump and split. Freeze some for future meals, and put the rest to use in whatever you’re cooking this week. I’m never sorry to have wild rice at the ready and this creamy wild rice soup is case in point. It’s a creamy winter warmer loaded with chewy, nutty wild rice and pan-fried mushrooms, fragrant with fresh thyme. So delicious!

Creamy Wild Rice Soup: the Ingredients

The ingredient list for this soup is relatively short. Once you have some cooked wild rice (which you can make a couple days ahead of time), the rest of the prep is primarily chopping mushrooms and grating a bit of cheese.

  • Mushrooms: You have a lot of flexibility here. You can use whatever mushrooms you typically purchase, or experiment with varietals you find at local farmers’ markets.  Brown button mushrooms from the grocery store work well. Or mix it up like I did for the version pictured here. Each mushroom has a unique flavor and texture. Floppy mushrooms I like to tear into pieces. And chopping firmer mushrooms into small pieces is the way to go.
    A sampler of different mushroom varietals
  • Wild Rice: My pro-tip related to wild rice is to avoid undercooking it. It definitely takes some time to cook, often an hour or more, but I like to let a lot of the grains split before draining off any additional water.
  • Cheese: I like to use a creamy, assertive cheese like Gruyere in this soup, but you can experiment. The key is strong flavor – give cheeses like mozzarella a pass here.
  • Cream: I use a heavy cream to give the broth in this soup body and richness. But on occasion I’ll substitute cashew cream – I tend to keep cashews on hand, but not always heavy cream. Instructions for both are included below.

A pot of creamy wild rice soup in a rustic pot.

How To Make Wild Rice Soup

To make this an easy weeknight meal you’ll want to cook the wild rice ahead of time. Just choose a window a day or two ahead of time so it’s ready to go when you want to make the soup. From there it’s quite straightforward.

  1. Saute the shallots and fresh thyme.
  2. Chopped mushrooms go in next, cook until browned.
  3. Add the water, broth, and/or bouillon.
  4. Stir in the wild rice.
  5. Grated cheese and cream are the grand finale.
  6. Season with salt and black pepper.

A bowl filled with creamy wild rice soup topped with fried shallots
Also, don’t sleep on the leftovers here. This is one of those soups that is even better the day after. It thickens a bit, the flavors deepen and meld in a wonderful way. 


If you end up loving this soup, and making it part of your cooking repertoire, you can switch up a bit.

  • Make it spicy: I like to add a minced serrano pepper (or two) to introduce a bit of kick here. You could also use dried chile pepper flakes.
  • Not mad at celery: If you add a couple stalks worth of chopped celery along with the shallots, you really introduce that holiday stuffing flavor profile. People love it and the whole situation makes your house smell like a place everyone wants to be.
  • Roasted winter squash: Adding some roasted winter squash to this wild rice soup is an ideal paring. If you finish off each bowl with some roasted delicata squash, or simple, roasted butternut or honeynut squash you add a bit of visual flare as well. And toss in some toasted pumpkin seeds while you’re at it!

A pot of creamy wild rice soup in a rustic pot.

More Creamy Soup Recipes

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