- 2 cups water
- ½ cup dry/uncooked wild rice (see Notes)
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 ribs celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots, sliced (about 1 cup)
- ¼ pound cremini or white mushrooms, sliced (about 1½ cups)
- ¼ pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced (about ½ cup)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
- 5 cups water
- 1 15-ounce can cooked Navy beans, rinsed (about 1½ cups)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
- Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the wild rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 60 minutes (or according to your rice package instructions).
- Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a soup pot over medium-high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook while stirring for 3 minutes, adding a little water as needed. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook while stirring for another 2 minutes, still adding water as needed.
- Stir in the 5 cups water, cooked wild rice (and any liquid remaining in the rice pot), beans, and tomato paste. Cover and cook on a low simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the fresh thyme during the last 5 minutes. Serve garnished with fresh thyme if desired.
For a creamy soup base: Many wild rice soups are made with butter, flour, and milk to create a creamy, rich base. If you’d like to do this, I have two suggestions. One is to simply stir in ½ to 1 cup of unsweetened nondairy milk at room temperature (like soy or almond) toward the end of step 3 (after removing from heat). Another way is to blend ¼ cup raw, unsalted cashews with ½ to 1 cup soup broth in a blender until smooth, and pour this back into the soup pot. A last suggestion, for a thicker soup base, is to blend 2 cups of soup broth and veggies/rice until smooth, then pour this back into the soup pot.
Shopping for wild rice: I have made this soup with a wild rice blend as well as black wild rice, but I much prefer the regular wild rice. So be sure when you’re shopping to get plain “wild rice” and not the black (called Forbidden or Japonica) or the blend (with brown rice), both of which can work as substitutions, but in my opinion, aren’t quite as delicious. Regular wild rice will look black/dark brown before cooking, then will pop open and look bi-colored.
Beans: Any kind of white bean can be used besides Navy, including cannellini or Great Northern.
Don’t like mushrooms? If you don’t care for mushrooms, you can leave them out or make up the difference with any vegetable you like or more rice and beans.