This cozy autumn wild rice soup is a nutritious way to warm up, providing your body with optimal nutrients for growing baby during pregnancy and healing postpartum. Made with delicious ingredients like mushrooms, carrots, spinach, wild rice and coconut milk, this soup is like a warm bowl of happiness.
Prepare a bowl for yourself to warm up during pregnancy, better yet, double the batch to freeze and save half for your postpartum days (you’ll thank me later)!
Why It’s One of the Best Postpartum Recipes Out There
Oftentimes women put all of their attention on good nutrition during pregnancy to grow a healthy baby, and by the time baby is here and they enter the 4th trimester, their nutrition goes to the wayside. When in reality, during the postpartum period your nutrition matters too (if not more!) to support proper healing and recovery.
Foods and Nutrients for Postpartum Recovery
The fresh produce is full of nutrients needed for postpartum healing including
- Antioxidants like Vitamin A to help fight inflammation
- Zinc to help heal any tears
- Vitamin D to support the immune system and reduce risk of postpartum depression
- Electrolytes to replenish those lost during labor
The bone broth and rotisserie chicken also supply your body with optimal nutrients to help recover perineal tears, scars from a cesarean section, and stretch marks such as:
- Fluid to hydrate and keep up with the increased fluid demands while breastfeeding
- Iron to help prevent postpartum anemia and iron deficiency
- Protein, specifically glycine, which helps your body build collagen to help with healing of the connective tissues
It’s Dairy Free, Soy Free, and Gluten Free
Did I mention this wild rice soup recipe is dairy free, soy free, AND gluten free? It is a go-to option for breastfeeding moms whose babies might have food allergies, or who may have food intolerances themselves.
Added Protein for Postpartum Recovery
The addition of shredded bits of rotisserie chicken and the use of bone broth is what sets this soup apart and makes it one of the best postpartum recipes for optimal healing and recovery.
Saves You Time
With less than 20 minutes of prep time and the option to leave it simmering in a slow cooker while you’re out and about, or prepping it on a stove top in under an hour just before dinnertime; this cozy autumn wild rice soup is easy to make with little attending to needed.
Use Up Leftovers and Make it all in One Pot!
It is a great way to use up leftover autumn vegetables!
I first made this recipe in the Fall of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. With so much time spent at home, I was cooking a lot which became a bit monotonous. I was not experimenting with new recipes, ingredients or ways of cooking… I had forgotten about soup!
So I decided to use up my many fall vegetables in a one pot meal that left me and my family feeling warm inside and out.
The Perfect Postpartum Freezer Meal Recipe
After perfecting this recipe, it became a staple in our family. This recipe comes together so easily and can be frozen, too. That is why this is the perfect dish for the postpartum mom!
(I even brought some leftovers for Jamie as she was expecting her little one any day at the time!) It’s the perfect gift of nourishment for an expecting mama!
Prepare this soup during your third trimester, and don’t forget to double the recipe to store some in the freezer. The soup can be enjoyed at a later time like in the 4th trimester when you’re busy taking care of a little one at your side!
The Best Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup Recipe for Pregnancy and Postpartum
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This cozy autumn wild rice soup features many vegetables, but mushrooms are the centerpiece. Carrots, celery, spinach and onion take the backseat so the mushrooms shine, as they often do when cooked surrounding other vegetables.
The added shredded rotisserie chicken along with the spinach and coconut milk at the end makes for a soft added texture to this creamy soup. It’s the perfect meal to enjoy during pregnancy, postpartum, and with your family!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Before jumping into cooking the recipe, it is important to understand the ingredients used and substitutions if you do not have the exact list of ingredients.
In this recipe, I use a blend with wild rice because it is rich in protein and fiber. The wild rice makes the dish unique from other rice based soups. Nevertheless, feel free to use whatever kind of rice you prefer, or have on hand in your pantry.
Simply keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the type of rice that you use. The important thing is to cook until the rice is tender.
The use of bone broth was chosen specifically for the beneficial nutrients for postpartum healing. Broth or stock work well in this recipe too, you will just miss out on the added protein. Chicken broth or stock will compliment the chicken, whereas vegetable broth brings out the taste of the fall vegetables.
Note: if you choose to use bone broth vs plain chicken broth or stock you may need to alter the total volume as bone broth may congeal a tad bit more than. You can add additional broth or water as needed to your desired fluid level.
Note: I used a low sodium option because the Old Bay and added salt are enough for me. If you only have salted broth on hand, you may want to skip the added salt in the recipe.
I use a blend of mushrooms, celery, carrots, sweet potatoes and onions but feel free to use other vegetables such as butternut squash. Or, add more or less of one or another vegetable depending on your taste preferences and what you have on hand.
Old Bay is a blend of various spices, but if you do not have Old Bay there are other spice options that you may use such as Italian or Cajun seasonings. If you prefer less salt than Old Bay, consider cutting the Old Bay in half and increasing the amount of dried thyme, rosemary, or using other herbs.
Coconut milk is used as the “cream” in this recipe because it adds a hint of sweetness that compliments the savory fall vegetables. You may also choose half and half in place of coconut milk for a non-vegan option. Alternatively, you may use a combination of melted butter, flour and milk and make your own cream (see recipe note).
The first time I made this soup, I had kale on hand, but it was a little difficult to chew through. If you choose kale instead of spinach, be sure to cut off the stalks and chop the kale into bite-sized pieces. You may also choose to use collard greens in place of spinach for more crispness in your soup.
I add spinach because it is easier to chew than kale or collard greens. The spinach does not need to be chopped nearly as much as the kale or collard greens (or not at all).
How to Make
This cozy autumn wild rice soup is easy to make but requires some prep. The process is fairly simple because there are only 2 batches of ingredients that need to be added to a crockpot (like the one I used here) or a dutch oven on the stove (this one is my favorite!). We add the broth, rice and vegetables followed by the coconut milk, spinach and shredded chicken.
Dice the Vegetables
Dice the vegetables: mushrooms, celery, carrots, and onions into bite-sized pieces.
The ingredients are listed in a specific order to allow the flavors to get optimally acquainted with each other. Add the broth, rice and finally the vegetables to the pot. See recipe note for instructions on preparing the autumn wild rice soup on the stovetop.
Cook the Base
Simmer the vegetables and rice in the broth until the rice is very tender. At this point, we have not yet added the coconut milk. This allows all the fresh ingredients to blend together. We are also preventing the coconut milk from burning from too much heat exposure.
Add the Final Ingredients
The “cream” used in this recipe is dairy free, but it is optional (see notes section of recipe). Add the coconut milk, spinach and shredded chicken to the crockpot. Finally stir all the ingredients together.
Serve the Soup
Serve the soup with some warm whole grain bread and butter for a meal that will leave you feeling warm inside and out. Keep in mind that the soup can thicken as it cools, so you may need to add more broth or water depending on your preferences.
The Best Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup
- Slow cooker or Stock Pot
- 10 Cups Bone Broth
- 1 Cup Uncooked Wild Rice
- 8 Ounces Mushrooms sliced or diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic minced
- 4 Ribs Celery diced
- 4 Large Carrots diced
- 1 White Onion diced
- 1 Tbsp Old Bay
- 1 Tsp Rosemary dried
- 1 Tsp Thyme dried
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Can Coconut Milk unsweetened (see notes)
- 2 Cups Spinach
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken shredded (see notes)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions for Crockpot:
- In a large crockpot, combine all ingredients except coconut milk, spinach and shredded chicken.
- Cook on high for 3 hours or until the carrots are easily pierced and the wild rice is cooked through.
- Add the coconut milk, spinach and shredded chicken then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Keep warm until ready to serve, remove bayleaf prior to serving, then enjoy!
Instructions for Stovetop:
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add all remaining ingredients except the coconut milk, spinach, and shredded chicken. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the rice is tender, stirring often.
- Add the coconut milk, spinach, and chicken.
- Keep warm until ready to serve, remove bayleaf prior to serving, then enjoy!
- If you do not have coconut milk on hand and are ok with a dairy option, you may use 1 ½ cups half and half. Or you may make your own cream sauce: in a separate saucepan, melt 3 Tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup flour and continue whisking for 1 minute. Finally, add 1 ½ cups milk, whisking until smooth. Cook until the sauce simmers and thickens then remove from heat and add to the soup.
- Rotisserie chicken, or chicken off of the bone (bone in thigh, etc) is preferred as it will provide you with more collagen. However, if you only have chicken breasts or boneless thighs on hand, you can use these as alternatives. Cook ahead of time, shred, and add at the end as the recipe calls for.
- Interested in making this a vegan wild rice soup or vegetarian? Swap out the bone broth for vegetable broth or stock and add in tofu instead of rotisserie chicken as a protein source. Or, leave the protein source out altogether, but plan to compliment this soup with a hearty high protein main course!
- I used a blend of mushrooms, celery, carrots, sweet potatoes and onions but feel free to use other vegetables such as butternut squash. Or, add more or less of one or another vegetable depending on your taste preferences and what you have on hand. Aim for roughly 7 cups chopped vegetables in total if mixing and matching.
- Store the soup in airtight containers for up to 3 days in the fridge or freeze in bags or containers for up to 3 months! Soup will freeze well only if you use non dairy milk.
- Recipe inspired by Gimme Some Oven.