This Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup is hearty, nourishing and packed with rich flavors. You’ll never miss the cream in this plant-based soup! Vegan.
It’s been a while since I shared a soup recipe.
I figured it was time. A hearty soup is always welcome around here and y’all like a hearty soup anyway, right?
Inspiration for this recipe came from America’s Test Kitchen (ATK). I had my notebook on the ready while watching. As I watched the preview, I knew I’d be paying close attention to this particular recipe and scribbling notes as fast as I could, just like at school when the professor is talking and writing so fast one care barely keep up. You know what I’m saying. It’s a race against time.
I finally got an online subscription, after this recipe. Now, while watching ATK, I can relax or do something else exciting like fold laundry.
To make this soup more veggie friendly, I changed a few things from ATK’s recipe including using cashew cream and coconut oil instead of cream and butter and using vegetable broth instead of chicken.
I have a mushroom and wild rice soup I’ve been making for years. But I diverted to this recipe for a change. While the older recipe is packed with earthy flavor, is texture rich, and still fabulous in it’s own right, this one is different. It’s creamier, a bit thicker and is bolder in those deep, earthy flavors.
The aroma alone will make one antsy for dinner.
Ma makes a mushroom wild rice dish that was one of my favorites growing up. I usually wanted more than my share, including any leftovers, which never happened. She made this umami filled side during holidays and served it with pork roast or ham and one hundred other side dishes.
I always had the rice dish as the main course. It was my favorite thing on the table.
Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup reminds me of the dish my Ma made, except this is a main course, not a side. It has umami flavor throughout, just like my mom’s side, due to the abundant mushrooms, tamari, and tomato paste.
You’ll notice perhaps, an odd ingredient used in this recipe. Wild rice is cooked with baking soda. ATK says the baking soda reduces cooking time. Also, I learned that adding a slurry of cornstarch not only helps thicken the soup, but it also aids in suspending the rice throughout the soup, instead of it sinking to the bottom.
A problem I encounter in my other mushroom and wild rice soup recipe, and sometimes in life. You know, that sinking feeling?
The ingredient list, it’s long, right? It’s not as scary as it looks. Many ingredients are pantry staples and are flavor builders. So take one ingredient at a time and enjoy this hearty soup.
Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
- 1/2 C Cashews 96g
- 1/2 C Water 114g
- 4 C Water 412g
- 1 C Wild Rice 204g
- 1 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Bayleaf
- 2 Sprigs of fresh Thyme
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Tbs Coconut Oil virgin, unrefined and cold pressed
- 1 lb Cremini Mushrooms stems removed and sliced, 453g
- 2 C Yellow Onion finely chopped, about two onions, 228g
- 4 tsp Garlic minced, about 4 cloves
- 1 tsp Tomato Paste
- 3/4 tsp Black Pepper ground
- 2/3 C Dry Sherry 132g
- 1 Tbs Tamari
- 1 oz Dried Porcini Mushrooms ground to a powder* (see note)
- 4 C Reserved Rice Liquid + Water as needed 940g
- 1/4 C Cornstarch 28g
- 1/4 C Water 58g
- 4 Tbs Green Chives chopped small
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
For the Cashew Cream:
Pour boiling water over cashews. Set aside to soften while the rice cooks or for at least 10 minutes. Rinse throughly. Blend cashews and 1/2 C (114g) of water in a high speed blender, scraping down sides several times. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate. Whisk before using in soup because it will thicken in the fridge.
For the Rice:
Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
In a large dutch oven, bring 4 C (412g) water to a boil. Add the wild rice, salt, bayleaf, thyme, garlic, and baking soda. Place a tight fitting lid on the dutch oven and bake for one hour (*Update - check on rice 1/2 and 3/4 way through baking to see if more water needs to be added. Due to different fitting lids, more steam may escape the pot than we want to. If the rice seems dry, add another 1/2 -1 C of HOT water 1/2 way through cooking - see reader comments also below). Strain rice, reserving the cooking liquid and garlic. Remove the thyme and discard. Smash the garlic and add back to the rice. Spoon into a bowl, set aside.
For the Soup:
In the same dutch oven that is now empty, warm the coconut oil until shimmering. Add the onions and mushrooms. Stir every 3-4 minutes to release water and dry out the mushrooms for 15 minutes. Add garlic about 5 minutes before the end of this cook time. Stir in the tomato paste, and black pepper for one minute. Pour in the sherry and tamari to deglaze the pan. Stir. Add the reserved rice cooking liquid and water as needed.
In a small bowl, make a slurry with the cornstarch and water. Add it to the soup along with the ground porcini. Bring to a simmer. Stir. Add rice, cashew creme, chives and lemon juice. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Stir and serve when thick and warm.
Garnish with thyme and additional chives if desired.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to three days or freeze for up to three weeks.
Wild rice can be pricy. Look for it in bulk bins where the price is lower than in pre-packaged containers.
*Dried Porcini Mushrooms can be found in most stores in small, 1 oz packages. Grind them in a coffee grinder or blender.
Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen.
Thank you for reading! If you make this recipe, be sure to post it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter notify me @vanillaandbean and tag #vanillaandbean! I’d love to see what you’ve made! Follow me on Pinterest, too, for even more deliciousness!