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Wild Rice Soup in a white bowl with a spirg of thyme and oyster crackers

Wild Rice Soup with Chicken

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Wild Rice Soup with Chicken is tasty comfort food on a cold day. This warm, satisfying meal is easy to make!

This Cream of Wild Rice Soup is as velvety as it sounds! My mom’s version used evaporated milk, but I added half and half for an even silkier texture.

Wild Rice Soup in a white bowl with oyster crackers and a sprig of thyme

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

My mom would occasionally have a stash of wild rice in the pantry, imported across the state line from Minnesota. It wasn’t uncommon for a simple wild rice soup to appear on our menu. Her recipe didn’t call for chicken, but I do remember her adding slivered almonds, minced ham, and shredded carrots.

With half and half and flour to thicken, it was rich and creamy. When our weather forecast started calling for subzero wind chills, I knew it was time to resurrect this old favorite.

Overhead view of a bowl of wild rice soup with a bamboo handle spoon

What Is Wild Rice?

Wild rice is not a true rice, but a species of grass with edible seeds that resemble rice. These grasses grow in shallow freshwater, marshlike areas. It’s also known as  Canada rice, Indian rice, and water oats.

Perfect Cold Weather Dinner

The picky hubby has steered clear of my quinoa and farro dishes. Wondering whether the wild rice would meet the same scrutiny, I tried to be optimistic. At least wild rice was in his vocabulary, unlike some of the other grains that have made it into our menus. I’m talking about you, freekeh.

Surprisingly, it was a hit. Nick was home from school for the holiday break and he approved, too. But son #2 makes quinoa in his rice maker, so he was an easy sell.

Closeup of a bowl of wild rice soup from above

Tips for Making Wild Rice Soup

  • The wild rice must be cooked separately before making the soup. It needs to simmer for about 45 minutes (read package instructions), then steam for about 10 minutes with the lid on.
  • While the rice is cooking, you can chop all the vegetables.
  • The addition of wine, just like salt, enhances the dish’s flavors. Leave it out if you must, but most of the alcohol will burn off as the soup cooks.
  • I like to use Wondra flour (affiliate link) to thicken the soup. It’s a granular flour by Gold Medal that does not get lumpy.
  • You can make this without chicken if you like, but it’s the perfect way to use up leftover roast chicken or even a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Warming the half and half helps it incorporate smoothly. Warm liquids mix in better when added to another warm liquid.

Flavored with thyme and bay leaves, classic aromatics, and some white wine, it was a surefire winner. And, thankfully, wild rice is now a stock item in supermarkets.​ If your weather is taking a turn for the worse, I hope you’ll add this chicken and wild rice soup recipe to your menu!

To make this easy wild rice soup recipe, you may need (affilate links):

This recipe was first shared in January 2017. Photos and text were update in 2020.

Wild Rice Soup in a white bowl with oyster crackers and a sprig of thyme

The Recipe: Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

A comforting chicken and wild rice soup full of herbs and veggies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 4 servings


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour (I use Wondra as it's less likely to form lumps)
  • 8 ounces wild rice, cooked in broth or salted water according to package instructions
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or any leftover chicken)
  • 1 cup half and half, warmed in the microwave.


  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add celery, carrots and onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add white wine and allow to evaporate
  2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan, then the flour. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring, to rid the flour of its raw flavor.
  3. Add salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves then slowly whisk in the first cup of the chicken broth. Add the remaining broth, rice, chicken and bring to a simmer. Whisk in warmed half and half.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve hot.


Some chicken broth brands are very salty. If that is the case, your soup may not need any salt. If it's a low sodium brand, you may need to up the seasonings!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 504Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 1419mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 27g


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