While it may sound rather ordinary, hamburger soup is a flavorful crowd-pleaser that’s easy to make.

Large pot of hamburger soup with potatoes and carrots, with a wooden spoon.

With lots of hearty vegetables and a rich tomato broth, hamburger soup is delicious and satisfying. Even fussy eaters will love it because it doesn’t have anything “strange” in it. No unusual or hard to find ingredients in this soup, just good plain economical vegetables like potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion, and ground beef.

You’ll want to get a pot of hamburger soup simmering on your stove today. The rich aroma will fill your home and have your family asking, “When’s dinner going to be ready?” Serve this homey soup with fresh bread, warm cornbread muffins, homemade naan, or homemade Parker House rolls

Show someone you care by showing up with a pan (or plastic container) of hamburger soup. Perfect for that family with a new baby, someone who’s recovering from surgery, or a neighbor who needs a little love.  Pretty much everyone likes it, it’s economical, and it reheats well.

About this soup

This soup is seriously easy to make. You’ll need a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a Dutch oven or soup pan. It will take about fifteen minutes to get the soup going, and about an hour to simmer the soup.

Prep the onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes and you’re on your way to delicious soup.

Brown a pound of ground beef in the pan, breaking up large clumps. Drain the beef if there’s lots of grease. Put the onions, celery, and carrots in the pan with the beef, and cook until they start to soften up. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and stir it around for one more minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the parsley, bring the soup to a boil, turn down the heat, and let it simmer. Give the soup a stir now and then just to make sure everything’s okay. When it’s time to eat, stir in the parsley, and holler out, “Soup’s on!” 

Soup in a large white dutch oven.

What you need

  • Ground Beef: Ground turkey is good too, as well as other types of ground meat. We do love a lean ground beef for this recipe, though.
  • Veggies: For this hearty soup you’ll need onions (just a regular ol’ onion will work!), celery, and carrots. Try to cut them all roughly the same size.
  • Potatoes: We like russet potatoes for this recipe because they hold up pretty well in the soup. Yukon golds or red potatoes are fine, too.
  • Beef Broth: Low sodium is preferable, so that you can control the amount of salt in the soup.
  • Tomatoes: A combination of canned diced tomatoes and tomato paste give this soup lots of tomato flavor. If you can get low-sodium, all the better.
  • Seasonings: This soup doesn’t need much! Just garlic, salt, pepper, and a dash of sugar. Fresh chopped parsley stirred in before serving adds fresh flavor. If you don’t have fresh, dried will work, just add it with the other seasonings instead of waiting until the end.
Overhead view of soup in a white dutch oven.

How to make hamburger soup in the slow cooker

It’s easy to adapt this recipe for your slow cooker. Simply brown the hamburger in a skillet, and add it to your crockpot along with the rest of the ingredients (except the parsley). Cover, and cook on High for four hours, or on Low for eight hours, or until you’re ready for dinner. Add parsley immediately before serving.

How to make this cozy soup your own

Hamburger soup is so versatile. Here’s a few suggestions for you but feel free to experiment (which is just another way to say use what’s in your pantry) and come up with your own special recipe.

  • Use any type of ground meat: turkey, sausage, lamb, pork, venison. If the meat has a lot of fat, drain it after browning.
  • Love cheesy soup? Garnish each serving with shredded cheese. 
  • Make your hamburger soup with macaroni or with barley instead of potatoes. The macaroni/barley will absorb some of the liquid so you’ll end up with a thicker soup, or you can add more broth if you want.
  • Substitute sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes. 
  • Bulk up the veggie count with cabbage, spinach, or kale, chopped or shredded. Or stir in frozen peas or corn right before serving.
  • For a low carb/keto soup, omit the potatoes and carrots. Add mushrooms, browning them with the ground beef, and add spinach, kale, or chard.
  • Like soup without tomatoes? Try this creamy chicken rice soup or keep reading for lots more delicious soup recipes.
Close up of soup with ground beef, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and celery.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Hamburger soup is great leftover! I do a happy dance when I can look forward to a nice bowl of soup for lunch the next day. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days.

Reheat on medium-low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave in 30 second intervals until warmed though, stirring each time.

Unfortunately, this soup does not freeze well because the potatoes have an unappetizing texture when thawed.

Overhead view of soup, parsley, and bread.

Soup’s on: More recipes

Soup is such a great meal, especially when it’s chock-full of vegetables. It’s kind of a sneaky way to slip in veggies. Here’s a few more recipes to get your mouth watering:

Overhead view of hamburger soup with potatoes, tomatoes, and vegetables.

Easy Hamburger Soup Recipe

Yield: 12 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

While it may sound rather ordinary, hamburger soup is a flavorful crowd-pleaser that's easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (see note)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 4 stalks celery, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 3-4 carrots, sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 4 cups unsalted beef broth
  • 3 large (2 lb.) potatoes, cubed (4-5 cups)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, no salt added if possible
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley, or ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. In Dutch oven, over medium high heat, brown ground beef, breaking up clumps; drain if desired. Add onion, celery, carrots, salt and pepper. Sauté five minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste, cooking and stirring until fragrant, about one minute. 
  2. Add broth, potatoes, tomatoes, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, turn down to medium heat and simmer, uncovered, for one hour, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley, check seasoning, and serve.

Notes

  • Slow cooker directions: Brown the hamburger in a skillet, and add it to crockpot along with the rest of the ingredients (except the parsley). Cover, and cook on High for four hours, or on Low for eight hours, or until you're ready for dinner.
  • Substitute any ground meat for the beef, such as turkey, lamb, chicken, sausage, or venison.
  • Optional add-ins: macaroni, barley, frozen peas or corn, shredded cabbage or kale, spinach, green beans, etc.
  • Garnish with shredded cheese, if desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 934mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 19g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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