Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Cuisine: European
Recipe Info

You truly can’t beat homemade soup when the temps start dropping. It’s miles ahead of anything canned in terms of nutrition and flavor, and often leaves you with plenty of leftovers. (And I’m sure we can all agree that soup is SO much better the next day!) This wild rice soup recipe features meaty mushrooms, a wealth of aromatics, and rustic herbs. The wild rice adds hearty texture and earthy flavor, plus lots of essential nutrients. Wild rice takes longer to cook than most other rice varieties, however the finished result is always worth it. Enjoy this bowl of bliss with crusty bread and fresh Parmesan, and experience healthy comfort food at its finest. I love serving this soup with a crusty French baguette for sopping up extra broth. Alternatively, you can make homemade croutons with day old bread and sprinkle them overtop. As far as sides, this soup complements a fresh, crunchy salad beautifully.

2 T olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
8 oz. baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry wild rice blend
1 T poultry seasoning
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
2/3 cup heavy cream (sub cashew cream*)
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Measure out heavy cream, and let it sit at room temperature, while you prepare soup. Or, prepare cashew cream, if using (see notes for instructions). Heat oil, and butter in a large stockpot, or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook for 8 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms, and garlic, and stir to combine. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring only occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and slightly golden. Add rice, and stir to coat. Let the rice cook for 1 to 2 minutes, to lightly toast the grains. Stir in poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add broth, and 1 cup of water; stir well. Bring the mixture to a low boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Remove the lid and stir in the heavy cream (or cashew cream). Gradually sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, stirring continuously to avoid clumping, until all is combined. Remove from heat and ladle into bowls.

– Wild Rice: Technically, wild rice is not a rice, but rather a semi-aquatic grass native to North America. You can typically find it in the bulk bin section or grain aisle of most well-stocked grocery stores. Cooked wild rice has a cream-colored interior and deliciously nutty flavor. It’s fantastic in pilafs, stuffings, and casseroles, and also gives heft to chowders and soups.
– Mushrooms: I use baby bella (or cremini) mushrooms, however the options are endless here. You can use a mix of shiitakes, white button, or a more exotic blend. I don’t suggest using only white button, though–they lack the umami and “oomph” factor compared to other varieties.
– Aromatics: All good homemade soups start with a mirepoix as the flavor base. I like using a traditional mix of onion, carrots, and celery, plus some minced garlic cloves.
– Spice blend: You want lots of earthy dried spices here to add a rustic backbone to the dish. I suggest using either Herbes de Provence or poultry seasoning, which include similar herb blends.
– Cream: To achieve a rich, creamy consistency, this soup requires either heavy cream or cashew cream. If making dairy free/vegan, use homemade or store-bought cashew cream. Otherwise, just 1/2 cup of heavy cream adds plenty of richness.
– To make homemade cashew cream, simply soak 1/3 cup raw cashews in 2/3 cup of hot/boiling water for 30 minutes (or longer). Once the cashews soften, transfer mixture to a high power blender and blend until smooth.

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