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.