This vegan wild rice soup is hearty, comforting, and packed full of fresh veggies and nutrients. It takes less than an hour to whip up, and it’s both vegan and gluten-free!
I’m a big fan of soups when the weather gets cold. To me, there’s nothing cozier than a steaming bowl of warm soup. That’s as comforting as food gets. This vegan wild rice soup recipe is one of my favorites, because it’s so hearty, filling, and full of nutrients, but also fresh. Wild rice, carrots, and celery make this a super healthy soup, while coconut milk makes it creamy and rich. Some herbs and lemon juice add freshness and acidity, and keep the soup light.
I love using my Instant Pot for soups, and this recipe shows why. The soup takes less than an hour to make, but it tastes like it’s been simmering away on your stove all day long. It’s so simple and easy to make that it’s a weeknight go-to in my home. Plus, it’s vegan and gluten-free!
What You’ll Need
Here are all the ingredients you need to make vegan wild rice soup. Be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the article for the exact quantities of the ingredients.
- Olive oil
- White onion – You can use a yellow onion, sweet onion, or red onion if you don’t have a white onion.
- Wild rice blend
- Vegetable broth
- Coconut milk – This recipe is best with full-fat coconut milk, as that will make the creamiest and richest soup. However, you can use low-fat coconut milk if you prefer.
- Dried thyme – You can substitute fresh thyme if you have it.
- Bay leaves
- Pepper – Make sure to use freshly-ground black pepper.
- Arrowroot starch – This will help thicken the soup.
- Fresh parsley – Parsley is an optional garnish.
- Fresh sage – Sage in an optional garnish.
- Red pepper flakes – Chili flakes are an optional garnish.
What is Wild Rice?
Wild rice is a grain that is native to America. Unlike traditional rice varieties, wild rice is black, and it’s technically not even rice. It has a fairly nutty flavor and a firm texture, which makes it perfect for soups. You can find wild rice at your grocery store in the grain aisle.
How to Make Vegan Wild Rice Soup
Here’s how to make this easy gluten-free soup. It takes less than an hour!
- Cook the veggies. Turn on your Instant Pot on the sauté setting, and add oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook until the veggies begin to soften. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour the rice, veggie broth, and coconut milk into the Instant Pot, then add the thyme, basil, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together.
- Cook. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to high pressure. Set the Instant Pot timer for 15 minutes, and let the soup cook.
- Release the pressure. After the soup has cooked, let the Instant Pot release its pressure for 15 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure through the vent.
- Thicken. Remove the lid, and pour a small amount of broth into a bowl. Add the arrowroot starch to the bowl, and stir until there are no lumps. Pour the mixture back into the Instant Pot, and stir to combine.
- Season. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Taste the soup, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve. Place the soup in bowls and garnish with your toppings of choice, then serve hot.
Tips for Success
Here are a few of my favorite tricks and tips for this vegan wild rice soup recipe.
- Make your own broth. One way to take this gluten-free soup to the next level is to make your own veggie broth. The soup will be good with store-bought broth, but even better if you make your own. I recommend making this soup with my Instant Pot mushroom vegan bone broth.
- Go light on the salt. Whether you buy or make your own stock, different broths have different sodium levels. To account for that, make sure that you season very lightly with salt before cooking the soup. Once the soup is done cooking, taste and adjust the seasonings. Remember that you can always add more salt, but you can’t subtract it!
- Customize the recipe. This recipe makes for a comforting and cozy soup, but you can add to it by stirring in the ingredients of your choice when you add the lemon juice. I love to add greens, chickpeas, and nutritional yeast to this recipe, and you can also add meat, such as shredded chicken.
- Adjust to your equipment. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still make this recipe. To cook the soup in a slow cooker, add all of the ingredients at once (you can get rid of the oil), and cook on high for at least 4 hours. To cook on the stove, follow the same directions as in the Instant Pot, but simmer for 45-50 minutes instead of pressure cooking.
How to Store and Reheat Wild Rice Soup
You can store this recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. However, be aware that as the soup sits, the rice and veggies will absorb more of the liquid and start to get a little mushy. The soup will still be good after sitting in the fridge for a few days, but the texture is best if eaten within 24 hours.
To reheat this hearty, comforting soup, cook over a medium heat stove for 3-5 minutes, until warm all the way through. You can also reheat the soup in the microwave, cooking on 80% power in 30-second increments until warm.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Absolutely! Store this vegan wild rice soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 months. Make sure that the soup is cooled fully before placing it in the freezer. Thaw completely, either in the fridge or in the microwave, before reheating.
More Vegan Soups to Make
If you liked this recipe, then check out some of my other favorite vegan soups to make this winter.
- Spring vegetable quinoa minestrone
- White bean and mushroom soup
- Healing cauliflower holiday soup
- Butternut squash and apple soup
- One pot vegetable chickpea curry
Vegan Wild Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 a medium white onion
- 1 cup carrots
- 1 cup celery
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 cup wild rice blend
- 4 cups veggie broth
- 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt + pepper (more as needed)
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- To garnish: parsley, sage, pepper, pepper flakes
- Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Add the oil and once it's hot, add the veggies. Sauté the veggies for 4 – 5 minutes until they're starting to soften.
- Add the rice, broth, coconut milk, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and give it a quick stir.
- Place your lid on the Instant Pot and close it. Make sure the vent is set to sealed. Turn the Instant Pot to high pressure and set the timer for 15 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to do its thing – it will come to pressure, then it will cook for the 15 minutes.
- Once the Instant Pot is done cooking, allow it to naturally release the pressure for 15 minutes. Then release the rest of the pressure through the vent.
- Remove the lid and scoop out a bit of the broth into a small bowl. Whisk in the arrowroot starch and pour to create a slurry, and pour it back into the pot, stirring it thoroughly. This will help thicken the soup slightly. Stir in the lemon juice, then taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
- If you want to add anything else – like chickpeas, shredded chicken, spinach, etc. – add that now. I also love stirring in 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast here as well (it tastes so good!).
- Serve the soup hot and top with fresh herbs and seasonings. Enjoy!