This recipe converts the American classic chicken and wild rice soup into an easy vegan version. Using a plant-based chicken-style product in tandem with vegetables and chewy wild rice results in a comforting mild soup.
The formula for the classic soup in its original form is fairly standard — chicken and wild rice in a creamy base, usually with onions, celery, and carrot, often with mushrooms as well. It’s so easy to veganize with a plant-based chicken alternative and plant-based milk.
Use your favorite plant-based chicken alternative: For this particular batch, I used Improved Nature Mini-Pieces™. This product comes in economical packages of 8 ounces in dehydrated weight, and cooked, makes 2.5 pounds of plant-based “meat.” So you need only about about 20 to 25 percent of what’s in the package for a recipe like this one that calls for 8 to 10 ounces of plant-based chick’n.
Here are some other vegan chick’n products to consider in addition to the Improved Nature used here:
- Abbot’s Butcher Slow-Roasted Chopped “Chicken”
- Butler Soy Curls
- Dr. Praeger’s Chick’n Tenders
- Gardein Chick’n, any variety
- No Evil Goods Comrade Cluck
- Sweet Earth Mindful Chick’n
- Tofurky Plant-based chick’n
- Viana Chickin Nuggets
See more about these in 12 Plant-Based Chicken Alternatives. Or, you can use an 8-ounce package of baked tofu as another option.
Wild rice is a characteristic ingredient in this soup, obviously, though you can opt to use a whole-grain and wild rice blend, or even black forbidden rice. Here’s our guide to wild rice, a useful grain-that’s-not-really-a-grain.
Don’t be intimidated by the long-is ingredient list. Aside from cooking the wild rice separately, so it doesn’t have to cook too long in the soup, everything just gets tossed into the pot.
- 3/4 cup wild rice
- 3 1/2 cups wate
- r ! The rest
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 6 to 8 ounces mushrooms, any variety, cleaned, stemmed, and sliced
- 6 cups water
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 teaspoon poultry seasoning or salt-free seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash)
- 8 to 10 ounces plant-based chicken alternative, in small bite-sized pieces (see Note)
- 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk, or as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, optional
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- Combine the wild rice with the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed, about 35 minutes. The wild rice might be still a bit firm at this point, but it will cook further in the soup. You can do this step ahead of time.
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden.
- Add the celery, carrots, mushrooms, water, bouillon cubes, poultry seasoning, and plant-based chicken. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Add the cooked wild rice and plant-based milk. Add more plant-based milk if the soup is crowded. Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 10 minutes longer.
- Combine the flour with just enough water to dissolve it into a smooth paste in a small bowl or cup. Drizzle into the soup. Stir in the vegan butter, if using.
- Taste again for salt and pepper, and adjust the consistency with more plant-based milk as needed, especially as the soup stands. This will vary depending on what type of plant-based chicken product is used.
- If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for a while to develop flavor, or serve right away. Stir in the parsley just before serving.
If you use an Improved Nature product, as I did for this batch, you need not pre-cook it as is usually called for (it comes dehydrated). It will cook in the broth.
If you like this veganized “chicken” soup, you might also enjoy …
Find lots more delicious vegan soups & stews.