Wild Rice Cranberry Soup

minnesota wild rice soup

When the squirrels started doing this, I knew winter was about to get real. Real real.

squirrel eating pumpkin So, we cleaned up our pumpkins, got our shovels ready, and waited.

And then, it began.


With leaves remaining on the trees, still confused by the trickery that was 80 degrees in October, snow has come, and I think it’s here to stay. Not a day above 30* forecasted for weeks to come.

carrots and celery So, in response, we made soup. A thick, hearty soup…you know, to fatten us up like the squirrels. After all, it gets cold here.


This soup feels like Minnesota to me. I guess all things wild rice do. But it’s creamy and quick and filled with some of the only things that are colorful in this season of white ground and gray skies: cranberries and carrots. The veggies are softened in a bath of butter, before the soup is thickened with stock and flour. You add the cooked wild rice, cranberries, and milk, and you’re pretty much done…just a few simple steps, and you’ve got a steaming, winter-worthy soup. I’m a big fan of toasting some buttered sourdough slices in the oven for dunking, but then again, I’m sort of a fan of anything buttered. Make this soup, enjoy the surprising bites of cranberry, and watch it snow, watch it snow, watch it snow…

wild rice soup

Wild Rice Cranberry Soup

Wild Rice Cranberry Soup

(adapted from: my friend Tova's sister's recipe)

(yields: about 5 cups)

I adapted this recipe in several ways. The main thing that I did differently was to use 1 c. of FRESH cranberries, and increase the amount of dried cranberries from a 1/2 to a full cup. The cranberry/craisin bites were our favorite, so be generous! Additionally, I doubled the amount of carrots and celery. Finally, I used a mixture of brown rice & wild rice because I had it on hand.


1 1/2 c cooked wild rice (see note below)


4 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

1/2 c. onion, finely chopped

3 c. vegetable stock

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 c. fresh (or frozen) cranberries, chopped

1 c. dried cranberries

1 c. milk or half-n-half

salt & pepper to taste


Cook wild rice according to package directions.

*Note that you need 1 1/2 c. COOKED rice; however, if you are like me and miss this detail and end up with several extra cups of cooked rice, I recently learned that you can freeze cooked rice! Brilliant!


Melt butter over medium heat.

Add carrot, celery & onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until carrot is tender, about 8 minutes.

Whisk veggie stock and flour together until smooth; pour into the soup pot.

Add the fresh cranberries.

Increase heat to medium high and stir until soup is thickened, about 5-10 minutes.

Stir in the rice. Add the dried cranberries.

Reduce heat to low/medium. Cover & simmer, stirring occasionally, until the dried cranberries are softened and plumped and the fresh cranberries are softened, about 15 minutes.

Pour in the milk, stirring occasionally until warmed through.

Season to taste

P.S. This soup would be great with some cooked turkey or chicken thrown in. It'd be so easy to grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, and throw a bunch of it into this soup!

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13 thoughts on “Wild Rice Cranberry Soup

  1. Waaaait a second here….first, I’m apparently seeing into the future because this post is definitely date for tomorrow. And second…. I’m making this for dinner. Like right now.

  2. Lizzizzle –
    Can’t wait to make this! But I have a serious question for you – Daniel really dislikes celery, so I leave it out of everything, and everything still tastes fine, BUT my question is if I was to substitute something for it what should it be??
    Thanks SEBI BITI (friend right??)

    • I would maybe just add extra carrots. That would sweeten it, but not to the point of weird. Some people would maybe substitute mushrooms, which would definitely alter the flavor…I’m not suggesting that because I never cook with mushrooms, and they make me insecure. But I think a safe bet would just be extra carrots.

  3. Wow – this looks so good! I’ve never heard of putting cranberries in soup before… but it’s intriguing enough that I might try this recipe this weekend.

  4. This is a beautiful dish. I added leftover pork roast that I had made earlier in the week. Dropped all of the chopped pork, juice and all into the soup. Also added some browned pecans into the wild rice for an added special to touch.

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