Creamy jalapeño, potato, and wild rice soup

Spicy and creamy, this vegetarian soup is kind of like a warm hug. The wild rice (which isn’t actually rice! but a rice-looking seed harvested from a type of North American native grass) has a really nice chewy texture that nicely replaces meat you might expect in something similar.

I recommend using your best stock (preferably homemade) for this, since it provides a lot of the soup’s flavor.

photo of completed recipe: Spicy and creamy, this vegetarian soup is kind of like a warm hug. The wild rice (which isn’t actually rice! but a rice-looking seed harvested from a type…
  • You'll be eating in: 1 hour

  • Active time: 20 minutes

  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2

    cups pre-cooked wild rice (from 3/4 cup uncooked rice)

  • 2

    tablespoons butter

  • 2

    tablespoons flour

  • 1

    onion, diced

  • 1

    medium carrot, diced

  • 2

    stalks celery, diced

  • 3

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 2

    jalapeños, sliced (use fewer and/or remove seeds for less heat)

  • 2

    russet potatoes, diced into 1/2" pieces

  • 4

    cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you're not vegetarian)

  • 1

    cup heavy cream

  • salt to taste (start with 1 teaspoon - really depends on your taste, your salt, and how salty your stock already is)

  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare the ingredients

    Dice your vegetables - you don't have to be exact with any of these measurements. I like to have about the same amount of onion as carrot/celery combined. Potatoes keep well submerged in cold water if you're not going to make the soup right away. Prepare the rice (see Notes below 👇🏻), I cooked mine in an Instant Pot on high pressure for 22 minutes with a 10 minute natural release.

    Dice your vegetables - you don't have to be exact with any of these measurements. I like to have about the same amount of onion as carrot/celery combined. Potatoes keep well submerged in cold water if you're not going to make the soup right away. Prepare the rice (**see Notes below 👇🏻**), I cooked mine in an Instant Pot on high pressure for 22 minutes with a 10 minute natural release.
  2. Saute the vegetables

    In a medium-large dutch oven or pot (4qt+), saute the onion, carrot, celery, and jalapeño in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until soft, about 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add in 3 cloves of minced garlic and saute for 1 minute longer, careful not to burn the garlic. Mix in 2 tablespoons flour, coating the vegetables and mixing until no more raw flour is visible.

  3. Cook the potatoes

    Pour in 4 cups of stock and add in the diced potatoes. Add additional liquid (water or stock) if needed to cover the potatoes. Add in minced cilantro stems if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked.

    Pour in **4 cups of stock** and add in the **diced potatoes**. Add additional liquid (water or stock) if needed to cover the potatoes. Add in minced cilantro stems if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked.
  4. Make it creamy

    Slightly mash the soup with a wooden spoon/potato masher or use an immersion blender to partially blend the ingredients, this helps achieve a creamy texture without adding too much additional cream. Slowly pour in 1 cup heavy cream, stirring constantly to help emulsify.

    Slightly mash the soup with a wooden spoon/potato masher or use an immersion blender to *partially* blend the ingredients, this helps achieve a creamy texture without adding too much additional cream. Slowly pour in **1 cup heavy cream**, stirring constantly to help emulsify.
  5. Add the rice

    Add in the cooked rice and cook for another few minutes to warm everything up.

  6. Serve

    Top with additional jalapeno and scallion and enjoy!

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Notes

This recipe calls for cooking the rice separately - which I did because there are different types of wild rice. There's both cultivated wild rice, which takes 40-60 minutes on the stove top, and hand-harvested wild rice or par-boiled wild rice or wild rice blends which may cook faster (~20-30 minutes on the stove top).

If you're familiar with your rice and know how long it takes to cook on the stove top, you can cook everything together, adding the rice (and additional stock or water) before the potatoes, factoring in the potato cooking time. So if you know your rice cooks in 20 minutes, add it in 10 minutes before the potatoes. Avoid using an immersion blender if you do this.

I have cultivated wild rice, so I could add 2 cups of additional stock or water (6 total), add the rice before the potatoes, let simmer for 35 minutes covered, then add potatoes and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until rice and potatoes are both cooked.

Variations

Try the chicken and jalapeño soup for a non-vegetarian version.

I've added in an ice cube worth of Puerto Rican sofrito if you do happen to have some in your freezer, but the soup is flavorful enough without it.

Substitutions

  • Jalapeño: leave out or reduce the jalapeño if you don't want things to be as spicy.
  • Vegetables: add in other vegetables if you want, soups are great for improvising and cleaning out your fridge.
  • Wild rice: you could use white or brown rice, but I really like the texture and chew that wild rice brings to the soup. I think short grain pasta would more nicely mimic that texture.
  • Flour: I don't recommend leaving out the flour, it helps thicken the soup and deliver the right consistency. I haven't tested this recipe with other thickeners, but you could try corn starch/potato startch/tapioca starch.
  • Cream: you could try substituting half and half or regular milk for the heavy cream, but those are lower in fat so it won't add as much richness.

Storage

Keep in the fridge and eat within 5 days. Creamy soups don't freeze well: the dairy will separate from the rest of the broth. If you want to make a big batch and freeze half, I would freeze it before you add the cream and then add additional cream when you reheat it.

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