This vegan wild rice soup is rich and creamy, flavourful and comforting with a mix of hearty vegetables and wild rice. It’s super easy to make and perfect for dinner on a chilly evening!
How to make wild rice soup creamy without cream
Every time I write a new recipe I like to peruse similar recipes online to see how other people do it.
The majority of vegan wild rice soup recipes with no dairy use blended cashews to make it creamy.
That’s cool. I used to use cashews in this way a lot but when I started to notice the price of raw unsalted cashews going up (and they were already expensive to begin with) I stopped buying them.
So to make this dairy free wild rice soup I employed the same trick I used in my epically delicious creamy vegan tomato soup: full fat coconut milk.
People often comment that they don’t like coconut milk or ask if you can taste it but the answer is no, it’s such a small amount that you can’t taste the coconut.
If you’re worried about it you can do what I do, start with just 1/4 cup (60 ml) and taste it. Gradually add more until you’re happy with the creaminess.
Other recipes online calling for coconut milk add the entire can, which is about 1 2/3 cups. I didn’t go that far since I think you’d start to taste it and I wanted the dominant flavour to be the nuttiness of the wild rice, but you can add as much or as little as you like.
If you have a coconut allergy you could simply swap it out for one of those vegan cream product that are becoming more available on the market now.
I sometimes use the oat cream from Oatly, for example in this vegan pot pie with mashed potato crust recipe. There are lots of other brands producing a single cream product you could try as well.
These products are generally more expensive, however, which is why I usually prefer to use coconut milk.
How to thicken wild rice soup
There are no secrets here.
Like many soups, this soup is thickened with all-purpose flour and the previously mentioned coconut milk.
The flour is added in after the vegetables in order to cook off the raw flour taste. Then the broth is added and the soup is simmered before being taken off the heat and adding the coconut milk.
It’s done this way because you should never boil coconut milk. Cooking coconut milk for too long at high temperatures can cause it to split or curdle. Always add it in last!
How to make wild rice soup
So it’s really simple!
Start by frying off some diced onion. Add in celery, carrot and garlic and let them cook until they’re just beginning to soften.
Then add the thyme and flour, as I mentioned, and let it cook off. Add the wild rice, potato and vegetable stock.
Bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer until the wild rice is cooked.
The length of time you need to cook wild rice depends on the type of rice that you have. “Regular” wild rice needs about 40 minutes or more.
(You can also soak the rice for several hours or overnight to reduce the cooking time by half).
There is also “quick cooking” wild rice which is ready in about 20 minutes.
If you are using a wild rice blend, you are constrained by the cooking time of the other type of rice, which can be anywhere from 10 minutes (for quick cook products) to 45 minutes.
As you can see, the cooking time for wild rice can vary so it’s best to keep an eye on your soup and take it off the heat when you’re happy with the cook.
The grains should be tender but remember that wild rice is a bit more chewy than other types of rice. The grains will be popping open to reveal their white interior but not rolling back and mostly white in appearance.
My wild rice has a cooking time of about 25 minutes. If you’re using a longer cook variety, keep an eye on the amount of liquid in the pot and add a couple more splashes of stock if it seems to be absorbing too much.
Once you’re happy with the cook on the rice and the veggies, take the pot off the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Taste and add salt as necessary (it will depend on how salty your stock is).
Serve immediately as the rice will continue to absorb the stock as it sits.
How long is wild rice soup good for in the fridge?
So I just said to serve the soup immediately or else it will thicken considerably as it sits.
If you don’t mind having more of a creamy rice dish than a soup the next day, you can store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Another option is to cook the wild rice in a separate pot in water and store the soup and rice in separate containers in the fridge, combining them in each bowl before serving.
If you do this you may want to reduce the quantity of vegetable stock in the soup by about a half cup or so in order to not have a super brothy soup. You can always add more stock, but you can’t take it away!
What to serve with wild rice soup
- Crusty bread
- Fennel salad with walnut dressing
- Easy bean salad
- Crispy garlic pita toasts
- Lemon edamame avocado sandwich
- Vegan stuffed zucchini
Vegan Wild Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil – $0.10
- 1/2 medium onion finely diced – $0.08
- 1 large celery rib finely diced – $0.22
- 1 large carrot finely diced – $0.15
- 2 cloves of garlic minced – $0.16
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme – $0.05
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour – $0.02
- 1 medium potato peeled and diced in 1/2 inch (1 1/4) cm cubes – $0.22
- 1/2 cup (105 grams) wild rice rinsed in cold water (optional: soak for several hours or overnight to reduce the cooking time) – $1.27
- 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) vegetable stock plus a few splashes if necessary – $0.75
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) full fat coconut milk – $0.35
- Salt and pepper to taste – $0.05
- This recipe serves 3. You can double it to serve 6 but keep in mind that if you have any leftovers the rice will continue to absorb the stock and be more like creamy rice than soup. You can avoid this by cooking the rice in a separate pot and storing it separately. If you do this, you may want to reduce the quantity of stock by about a cup so that it's not overly brothy.
- Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until soft and transparent.
- Add the celery, carrot and garlic. Fry, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften – about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the thyme and flour and cook, stirring frequently, to cook off the raw flour taste – about 3 minutes.
- Add the potato, rice and stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight lid.
- Simmer gently on low until the vegetables and rice are tender. The time depends on the brand of rice you use and your cooking preference. See post above for more details. Mine is done in 25 minutes but other brands take up to 45 minutes or more. If yours is absorbing a lot of the stock before it’s done, add a few more splashes.
- When the rice is cooked to your preference, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately as the rice will continue to absorb the stock as it sits.