This creamy vegan wild rice soup is perfect for warming up on a chilly autumn day. It’s my favorite kind of comfort food: satisfying and full of flavor, but unexpectedly packed with nutrition!
I decided to create this vegan wild rice soup after suffering from a very bad hangover after my cousin’s wedding in North Dakota. I was driving back through Minnesota on my way home the next day, splitting headache and everything, and it seemed like wild rice soup was everywhere, and it sounded AMAZING, but I knew it would never be vegetarian and dairy-free.
I had to take matters into my own hands to finally close the loop on my hangover and the dairy-free wild rice soup that I came up with is something that I’d prefer over the original any day.
- It’s packed with nutritious ingredients to create a creamy, dairy-free base
- There are no mushrooms anywhere to be found (I’m really not a fan)
- You can even add cauliflower to create a creamy cauliflower wild rice soup and it will be undetectable!
Wild rice is kind of an odd food, as it’s not actually a “rice” (like brown rice, etc.). It’s a grass that grows on water. Most of the United States’ wild rice crop is grown in and around Minnesota. I found a small box of it in the rice and beans aisle at my regular grocery store, and it should be at most natural grocers. Sometimes you’ll find it sold mixed with other forms of (actual) rice. It is a bit pricey per pound, but a little goes a long way flavor-wise and so it’s common to use it as part of a rice mix.
In this soup I use 50/50 wild rice and regular brown (or white) rice. If a wild rice blend is what you have, simply substitute it for the full quantity of rice in the recipe.
Wild rice is high in protein, fiber, lysine, and several vitamins and minerals. So it’s a great option for vegan diets.
This vegan creamy wild rice soup starts with the classic aromatics (onion, garlic and celery). The rice is then gently toasted in the oil and cooked until tender, before stirring in a luscious cashew cream base made with white beans and potatoes. Because the wild rice has such a unique, nutty flavor that I wanted to let shine, I held back with the spices and just used salt, pepper, and a couple of ingredients to add umami. The result is an absolutely addictive, rich soup. Every time I make it, it seems to be EXACTLY what I was craving. 🙂
Creamy Vegan Wild Rice Soup
- 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked for 2 hours to overnight
- 1 small potato cooked
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp white or yellow miso
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked white beans rinsed and drained (equal to 1 standard can)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 rib celery diced
- 1/2 cup wild rice soaked for 2 hours to overnight
- 1/2 cup brown rice soaked for 2 hours to overnight
- 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
- 4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- fresh parsley and soup crackers (optional, for serving)
- Before making the rcipe, soak the cashews in a bowl of water. In another bowl, soak the brown and wild rice. Soaking the cashews softens them so they can blend to a smooth consistency, and soaking the rice helps it cook more quickly. Leave the bowls soaking for 2 hours to overnight.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the cashews, cooked potato (feel free to leave the skin on), miso, nutritional yeast, and white beans until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. This may take a few minutes. Add water as needed to blend.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and celery, along with a sprinkle of salt, and stir. Continue cooking until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the wild rice and brown rice and stir. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the white wine if using, and cook for a couple of minutes or until starting to dry out.
- Add the vegetable broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce to a simmer, and cook while stirring occasionally, until the rice is nearly tender (15-30 minutes, depending on how long you soaked the rice for and your rice chewiness preference).
- Stir in the cashew cream mixture. If you're not using a high-speed blender, you can pour the mixture into a mesh sieve first, using a spatula to push it through, to get rid of any lumps.
- Simmer the soup on low until the mixture is heated through and the rice is fully cooked to your liking. Add water or broth to thin out the soup if desired. Add the vinegar and black pepper.
- Season the soup to taste with salt. For me, this soup needs plenty of salt because it's so rich.
- Serve hot, with fresh parsley and crackers if desired.
If you loved this creamy wild rice soup, then you’ll love these other recipes:
Originally published in 2014. Updated in 2021 with new step-by-step photos and improved recipe instructions.