Wild Rice and Carrot Soup is a quick and easy soup that combines sweet carrots with earthy wild rice, topped with toasted hazelnuts and fresh thyme. All that healthy beta carotene practically glows!
My wild rice and carrot soup makes a beautiful Thanksgiving starter, or cozy lunch by the fire…your choice!
Ingredients for wild rice and carrot soup
- fresh carrots ~ look for young carrots, or carrots with the leafy greens attached, they’ll have the best, sweetest flavor. Avoid the giant specimens in the bulk section.
- wild rice ~ look for it near the rest of the rice and grains in your supermarket. It has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture that I love. It’s a little more expensive, but a little goes a long way to making a dish special.
- fennel ~ the light licorice flavor works well with sweet carrots.
- shallots ~ shallots should be a staple in your kitchen. Kind of a midway point between onions and garlic, they give everything a restaurant quality flavor.
- Sherry ~ another flavor staple in my kitchen. Look for dry sherry in the wine section, but avoid cooking wine, which is terrible. Note: sherry keeps forever in the cupboard, so don’t hesitate.
- chicken broth ~ buy good quality or make your own. You could use turkey stock too, make some after Thanksgiving. (Use vegetable stock for a vegan soup)
- fresh herbs ~ thyme and bay.
This carrot soup comes together super quick. Once the veggies have been sautéed and simmered just until tender, I remove the herbs and puree. The color is gorgeous.
Tip: Just like with any soup that contains rice, I always pre-cook it and add it to the finished soup.
In this case you can stir it all in, or reserve half for adding to each individual bowl, which is my choice. I did the same thing with my Stuffed Pepper Soup. I also recommend this for soups that contain pasta, like my Italian Minestrone Soup. If you don’t do this, the grains absorb liquid and create an unappealing texture.
This soup is naturally gluten free, and can easily be made vegan
The contrast of the bright orange soup and the dark rice is beautiful, and adding toasted hazelnuts and fresh thyme makes it company worthy. I’d serve it as a starter to a big meal, in small bowls or cups, or all by itself with a nice crusty loaf of bread. Bon appetit!
Wild Rice and Carrot Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp butter, divided
- 1 bulb fennel, cored and sliced or chopped
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bunch thyme sprigs, tied together with twine
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 1/3 toasted hazelnuts, rough chopped
- fresh thyme
- Heat the olive oil and one tablespoon of the butter in a large soup pot. Saute the fennel and shallot for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the sherry and cook for a minute more. Then add the carrots, broth, herbs, and a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Bring up to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes more.
- Remove the herbs and puree the soup, in batches. Return to the pot.
- Reheat the soup, stir in the remaining butter, and season with the vinegar and sugar. Stir in half the rice, reserving the rest for adding to individual bowls. Taste to adjust the salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup hot, topped with more wild rice, toasted hazelnuts, and sprigs of thyme.
Questions and Reviews
This was a yummy recipe. Of course I had to change a couple things. I used a 1/2 tsp of fennel seed in place of the fennel bulb. Instead of wild rice, I used black rice, which also has a nutty flavor and replaced the hazelnuts with cashews. We loved it. To Darlene’s question, our carrots came from a local farm and were as sweet as can be. One complaint…No way would this be 10 servings! We got 4 modest servings and even with a fennel bulb, I don’t think it would have stretched to 10 servings. We’ll make this again.
I made this soup for Christmas and although everyone loved it I could only give it four stars. I like your other carrot soup better because roasting the carrots beforehand adds so much more flavor to the soup. Also I think the times are all off in this recipe. I had to cook it three times as long in order to get it to purée. The fennel was a bit overpowering and I prefer to add the sherry at the end to give it that wow factor. I made it without the wild rice because it was so expensive so maybe that’s what would have tied it all together!
Thanks for the reply Sue. It didn’t pop up until I asked again!
Hi Sue can I make this soup ahead and freeze it? I’m thinking I can leave out the wild rice and put it in when I defrost it. Thanks
I think that will be fine Darlene.
Hi Sue can I make the soup ahead and freeze it? I’m thinking before adding the wild rice?
Yes, that should be fine 🙂
This looks delicious, Sue! However, finding a good bag of carrots in our area can be unpredictable. Do you know what to look for when purchasing a bag of a carrots?
I have a great store where I can always find the loose bunches with the tops attached, which are the best. The bags are harder because you can’t really see what’s inside. Generally I go for skinnier rather than big fat ones 😉