Easy Hamburger Soup Recipe
While it may sound rather ordinary, hamburger soup is a flavorful crowd-pleaser that’s easy to make.
Why you’ll love it: It’s an easy one pan meal, with meat, potatoes, and veggies. You can leave it on the stove to simmer until you’re ready to eat.
How long it takes: about 1½ hours
Equipment you’ll need: large pan or Dutch oven
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 resealable 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.
You’ll find the recipe card near the end of the post with measurements, instructions, and nutrition information.
What you’ll 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’ yellow 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.
How To Make 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!”
Slow Cooker Instructions
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.
Start with a good quality beef broth. If you want to add flavor after the soup has been made, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, or miso will add more flavor. Often, just adding more salt and pepper helps a lot. I like to increase the acidity of the soup just a bit by adding a splash of red wine vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice at the end of the cooking time. You’d be surprised how much difference that makes!
I often substitute chicken or vegetable broth if I don’t happen to have beef broth. It’s likely that you won’t notice the difference. If you happen to have beef bouillon cubes, paste, or granules, add that to your soup to “beef” up the broth.
I think most everyone would vote for chicken noodle soup (I love this easy Instant Pot recipe). It’s not spicy or tomato-y which could aggravate an upset stomach. Creamy chicken rice soup always seems to do the trick, too, or if you prefer, Instant Pot chicken and rice soup
Make It 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. Or try this chunky cheeseburger soup. You’ll love it!
- 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.
- Not a fan of soup? Try homemade Hamburger Helper or American goulash, both one pan meals.
- Like soup without tomatoes? Try this creamy chicken rice soup or keep reading for lots more delicious soup recipes.
Storage & 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.
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:
- Homemade Vegetable Soup Recipe
- Lentil Soup Recipe with Pasta
- Chicken Corn Chowder
- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup Recipe
- Turkey Quinoa Chili (under 400 calories!)
- Vegetarian Lasagna Soup
- Easy Meatball Soup with Orzo
- One Pot Green Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Kale
- Italian Sausage Stew with White Beans and Kale
- Chicken Barley Soup with Kale and Butternut Squash
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
- 1 lb. (16 oz.) lean ground beef (see note)
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 4 stalks celery, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
- 3 to 4 carrots, sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher 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 potatoes, cubed, 4 to 5 cups (about 2 lbs.)
- 2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained (no salt added, if possible)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley (or ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley)
- In Dutch oven or large pan, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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