Vegetarian Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

The ultimate hearty winter soup, this vegetarian Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup is earthy, creamy, and the perfect way to warm up this winter. Simmer a big pot on your stove for a few hours this weekend and enjoy a bowl of delicious soup all week long.

Vegetarian Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup: The ultimate hearty winter soup, this earthy, creamy soup si the perfect way to warm up all winter long. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #soup #vegetarian #mushrooms #wildrice

If you follow my stories on Instagram, you might remember the backstory of this soup.  This year, I joined a neighborhood “Soup Group.”  Here’s my crazy confession though: I don’t really like soup.

I do, however, like meeting new neighbors!  And so because I’m a total extrovert, I was all “soup group! meeting neighbors! sounds awesome – sign me up!”, because this is what we extroverts do.  An activity you’re not totally interested in, but something interactive with other people?  All in!

And thus, a few weekends ago, it was my turn to make 8 quarts of soup to disperse amongst my neighbors.  Here are my criteria for soups I *do* enjoy.

  1. Must be thick and hearty.
  2. Must have lots of delicious “things” in it.
  3. Must cook long enough that said things are soft and creamy and melty.
  4. Must not contain chicken. (I don’t like chicken, and I REALLY don’t like chicken that has been boiled to death in soup.)

This vegetarian mushroom and wild rice soup met all of the above criteria.  In fact, it kind of blew my soup-disliking taste buds away.  And it’s a really good thing, seeing as how half the people from our soup group failed to show up.  In other words, I was left with A WHOLE LOT of vegetarian mushroom and wild rice soup to eat myself.

I did not complain once about having to eat this every day for lunch and a few times for dinner. Perhaps I need to revise my stance on soup – or maybe it’s just that this mushroom and wild rice soup is so dang delicious.

large dutch oven filled with mushroom soup.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Olive Oil
  • Carrts
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Wild Rice: Because of how long we’re cooking this soup, use real wild rice, not brown rice or white rice or a wild rice blend.
  • Fresh Mushrooms: I love a blend of mushrooms, like cremini, oyster, and shiitake.
  • Vegetable Broth: If you don’t need to keep the soup vegetarian, chicken broth works really well.
  • Salt and PEpper
  • Italian Seasoning: A pinch each of oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, and romemary also works.
  • Butter: Plant-based “butter” can be used to keep this soup dairy-free/vegan.
  • Flour: Use a gluten-free flour blend to thicken the soup to keep the soup gluten-free.
  • Milk: I always use whole milk but use whatever you have on hand. Any protein-heavy non-dairy milk, like pea protein milk or soy milk, also works.
white bowl on a burlap towel filled with mushroom soup.

Mushroom Blend

Here’s what makes this so good: an awesome mushroom mix.  I picked up a blend of cremini, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms from the “mushroom guy” at our local farmer’s market and added in a package of white mushrooms from the grocery store.

The mushroom blend was spot on.  I roughly chopped half the mushrooms — stems and all — and put the other half in the food processor for a fine dice.  I loved the texture balance between the larger pieces and the tiny bits that basically melted into the broth.

If you’re making the soup for people who don’t mind the taste of mushrooms but can’t stand the texture, toss all the mushrooms in the food processor. Once the mushrooms cook they’re barely detectable and don’t have any of the classic chewy mushroom texture.

spoon dipping into a bowl of mushroom and rice soup showing the texture of the soup.

Authentic Wild Rice

This soup relies on both the chewy texture and nutty flavor from real wild rice. Don’t try to substitute in brown, white, or another type of rice, as it will take on a mushy texture. I wound up ordering my wild rice from Amazon (affiliate link) because I couldn’t count on whether or not our grocery store would have the real deal.

What makes wild rice so special? It’s time for my favorite subject: kitchen chemistry!

Kitchen Chemistry

Wild rice has a chewy and hearty texture that holds up to long cooking times thanks to its tough outer hull and nutritional profile. Wild rice is higher in protein compared to many other types of rice, while also having a lower starch content. Starch undergoes gelatinization during cooking, contributing to the soft and fluffy texture – the lower starch content in wild rice means it maintains a firmer and chewier texture. Furthermore, wild rice is high in insoluble fiber, which slows down the absorption of water during cooking, further preserving the chewy texture.

Because of these unique characteristics. of wild rice, you need to cook this soup for as long as the recipe indicates (and even longer won’t hurt!). I taste-tested around an hour and an hour and a half into the cooking time, and both times the mushroom stems were chewy and the rice, while no longer crunchy, still had more of a bite than I wanted.  Two hours was great.  Three hours, while waiting for the absentee soup group people, was even better.

bowl filled with soup in front of a green dutch oven.
  • Dutch Oven: A 7-quart Dutch oven is plenty large enough to even make a double batch of this soup.
  • Chef Knife: A sharp knife is essential for chopping all the vegetables.
  • Food Processor: The easiest way to finely dice some of the mushrooms.
  • Small Saucepan: Use a small saucepan to heat the butter to make the roux.
  • Whisk: My favorite whisk, perfect for making the roux.
  • Wild Rice: Use 100% wild rice, like this one which I always use for this soup.
overhead view of a bowl of soup filled with mushrooms, carrots, and wild rice.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Vegetarian Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

  1. Use a Mushroom Variety: Rather than using all one type of mushroom, use a mix containing multiple varieties. Each type contributes unique flavors and textures, adding complexity to the soup.
  2. Vary Mushroom Size: Chop some mushrooms by hand, while finely dice others either by hand or with a food processor. For those who dislike the chewy texture of mushrooms, finely dice all the mushrooms.
  3. Cook the Roux: When creating the roux with flour and butter, make sure to cook it for a few minutes, until it starts to brown. This ensures that the flour loses its raw taste.
  4. Make Ahead for Enhanced Flavor: Soups often taste even better the next day as the flavors meld. Consider making a large batch and allowing it to sit in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  5. Freeze Before Adding Roux: If you’d like to make this soup ahead of time, cook together the mushrooms, wild rice, aromatics, and broth for several hours until soft. Chill the soup and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve the soup, heat the mushroom and rice mixture, make the roux, and simmer together for 15 to 20 minutes.

More Cold Weather Comfort Food

white bowl filled with mushroom and wild rice soup.

Vegetarian Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Yield: Serves 8
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours

The ultimate hearty winter soup, full of a mix of mushrooms and earthy wild rice.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 16 ounces carrots, chopped
  • 16 oun ces celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 16 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped and/or minced (suggested combination: cremini, oyster, and shiitake)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian blend seasoning (oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, rosemary)
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add in the wild rice, mushrooms, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and Italian herbs.  Simmer over medium-low heat for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the rice is cooked and the mushrooms are soft.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Whisk in the flour and cook until the roux starts to brown.  Slowly whisk in the milk until the sauce is smooth.  Mix the sauce into the mushroom soup.  Continue to cook over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the soup is thick.


  1. For the best texture, use a variety of mushrooms and vary the size - chop some mushrooms into bite-sized pieces, while dice others into small pieces (or run through a food processor).
  2. Mushroom and wild rice soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up 5 days.
  3. To make the soup ahead of time and freeze, cook together the mushrooms, wild rice, aromatics, and broth for several hours until soft. Chill the soup and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve the soup, heat the mushroom and rice mixture, make the roux, and simmer together for 15 to 20 minutes.

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Vegetarian Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup: The ultimate hearty winter soup, this earthy, creamy soup is the perfect way to warm up all winter long.