Creamy vegan wild rice mushroom soup is easy to make in the Instant Pot (or stovetop) with no heavy cream, coconut milk, or oil. Bowls of healthy deliciousness await.
⭐ Why this recipe works
It's surprising how easily this creamy soup comes together. A base of onions, celery, carrots, and heaps of mushrooms. The seasoning is delicate, with fresh thyme and dill or chives as a possible garnish.
What makes this recipe so unique is the two-step creaminess process. It starts with a simple cornstarch slurry cooked with wild rice. The velvety finishing touch? Vegan sour cream!
📋 Key ingredients, notes, & substitutions
Wild rice – It isn't even rice! That's right, wild rice is grass with a nutty, earthy flavor and chewy texture. Wild rice blend is just a mix of brown and white rice with a little toss of wild rice – not the same! Black rice is a closer substitute.
Onions – A large yellow onion, chopped, will get you there. If you have a few leeks, dice them small and use them. A white onion will also work as a substitute.
Mushrooms – A pound of fresh mushrooms is a lot, so go for budget-friendly button mushrooms. Brown (chestnut/ baby Bella mushrooms) or white. Toss in a few cremini mushrooms or a wild mushroom mix. Use 'em if you have 'em. They’ll be tasty.
Sherry – Dry cooking sherry is used to deglaze after sautéing the vegetables. It also builds a delightful flavor with sweet undertones. White wine can be used. No alcohol? Use veggie broth or water. For a slightly sweet flavor, add a teaspoon of white balsamic vinegar.
Thyme – If possible, don't skip the fresh thyme sprigs. Enough said. Use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme as an alternative. Remember, dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh herbs. You can always add more later. If you find thyme too strong, use 2 bay leaves.
Vegetable broth – Use a flavorful vegetable broth or a vegan chicken broth. You can also use a few vegetable stock cubes mixed with water.
Cornstarch – Cornstarch makes an excellent thickener. Like any thickener from all-purpose flour to arrowroot, make a slurry by mixing it with liquid before adding it to the soup pot. Use it anytime you are making gravy too. Don't skip this lump-prevention step.
Sour cream – The flavor of mushrooms and sour cream from my days of making 'stroganoff' with mushroom soup and sour cream (yes, I did that). Use a vegan sour cream you like, although I'll shamelessly plug a more traditional cashew sour cream recipe or sunflower seed sour cream. If you use plain cashew cream, add a little lemon juice.
Once you prep the veggies, the initial cooking is quick until you start pressure cooking. For this reason, it's easiest to start by making the cornstarch slurry so it's ready to add.
You need 5 cups of vegetable broth in total. So, grab a measuring cup, add a few cups, and then whisk in the cornstarch. Don't forget how much more you need to add to 5 cups. I can't tell you how often I've pulled that trick. Set the slurry aside and give it a quick stir right before you add it.
Start cooking by setting the Instant Pot to sauté. Let the Instant Pot heat up. Then add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook them for 2-3 minutes to soften them.
Cooking Tip 1: Heating the Instant Pot before adding veggies keeps them from sticking without the assistance of olive oil.
Next, add the mushrooms and salt. Depending on the type and age of the mushrooms, cooking time can take up to 8 minutes for their released moisture to cook away.
Cooking Tip 2: Clean mushrooms with a dry cloth. Rinsing them adds more water and diminishes their flavor.
Now stir in minced garlic and garlic powder (it's a double dose). The pressure cooker will be hot, so give that a minute before deglazing with sherry.
Cooking Tip 3: After deglazing the Instant Pot, turn it off. This helps to clear the bottom of the pot. Sensitive Instant Pots can sound the ‘Food Burning’ notice if just a little food is stuck to the bottom.
Steps away now. Pour in the broth and wild rice. Add 3 fresh thyme sprigs and give the ingredients a quick stir. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, set the steam handle to Sealing, and cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes. After cooking, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.
Cooking Tip 4: The thyme leaves will fall off the stems when cooking, so there's no reason to spend time removing them before cooking. After the soup cooks, fish out the stems. Job done.
Once the soup has cooked, it’s time to whisk in the sour cream. Once you get the sour cream distributed, stir the soup well.
Cooking Tip 5: If you use milk-based sour cream, it tends to separate, so whisk it with 2 cups of the soup and then add it to the pot.
Make the soup as directed, using a large pot or large dutch oven. Start on medium heat, and after adding the broth and rice, bring the ingredients to simmering and cover the pot. Wild rice takes 45-60 minutes to get tender.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make a creamy soup without sour cream, you can substitute it with creamy plant milk, like oat milk mixed with a teaspoon of cornstarch. You can also whiz it with a few cashews. If you want to use up a can of coconut milk, it will add creaminess but slightly alter the flavor.
If you are using an Instant Pot, it isn't necessary to soak the rice. Soaking will reduce cook time, so it is something to consider if you use the stovetop method.
Wild rice blends combine different kinds of long-grain rice with wild rice. Blends are less expensive and more readily available. If you use a mix in place of wild rice, use one that is whole grain, meaning that the rice has the entire grain. More processed white rice will turn to mush in the time it takes to cook wild rice thoroughly.
This hearty soup has an abundance of veg, so it's nice with slices of crusty bread or rolls for tearing and dipping. It pares well with simple salads like baby spinach and apple. For something more substantive, I’d be tempted by Israeli couscous salad. Yummy!
🌡️ Storage, freezing, and reheating
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days. This soup also freezes for 3 months. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Instant Pot soup recipes we love
Vegan Wild Rice Mushroom Soup
Creamy vegan wild rice mushroom soup, easily made in the Instant Pot (or stovetop) with no cream, coconut milk, or oil - healthy deliciousness.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced (1 cup)
- 2 pounds mushrooms, cleaned and sliced or chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup sherry
- 1 cup wild rice
- ¾ cup vegan sour cream
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill or chives (optional)
- Measure 5 cups of vegetable broth and whisk in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
- Set the Instant Pot to Saute. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes to soften them. Stir them to keep them from sticking.
- Add the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook the mushrooms for a few minutes until they release their moisture (about 8 minutes).
- Add the garlic, thyme, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables.
- Deglaze the Instant Pot. Add the sherry and stir the bottom of the Instant Pot. Turn off the Instant Pot. Use a wooden spoon to clear the bottom of stuck-on vegetables.
- Add the vegetable stock and wild rice. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and set the steam handle to sealing. Cook the soup on High Pressure for 15 minutes. After the Instant Pot beeps, let the steam naturally release for 10 minutes before opening the steam handle and removing the lid.
- Finish the soup. Fish out the thyme stems. Stir the soup, then whisk in the sour cream. Garnish with chopped fresh dill or chives.
- Make the soup as directed, using a large pot or large dutch oven. Start on medium heat, and after adding the broth and rice, bring the ingredients to simmering and cover the pot. Wild rice takes 45-60 minutes to get tender.
- For a thicker soup, continue simmering, uncovered for a few minutes. Alternatively, remove a cup or more of the soup and blend it. Then mix it in with the rest of the soup.
- If you want to add more cornstarch to thicken the soup, mix it separately with some of the soup broth. It will get lumpy if added directly to the hot soup.
- Use only wild rice if possible. The second best is black rice or whole grain wild rice blend. You don’t need to soak wild rice, but it will reduce cooking time if you use the stovetop method.
Keywords: vegan wild rice mushroom soup, Instant Pot soup, instapot