Hamburger Soup – loaded with flavorful lean ground beef, hearty vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and full of rich flavor. It’s easy to throw together and a perfectly comforting soup!
Hamburger Soup Recipe
So what exactly is hamburger soup? Does it taste like a hamburger? This soup is basically the simplified, soupier cousin of beef stew.
It’s a ground beef based soup loaded with lots of nutritious vegetables. Plus it’s a versatile soup so you can play around with the vegetables and seasonings added.
And no it doesn’t really taste like a hamburger.
I don’t know that that would taste very good, we’d have some soggy buns, ketchup, and mustard in there or something, yuck. So I guess if you’d like you could just call this beef soup or beef vegetable soup.
It’s just many times people refer to ground beef as hamburger.
No matter what you call this though it’s almost certain to become a family favorite! It’s just classic homestyle comfort food, that’s sure to brighten up those dark out days, at least a little.
Then as a side note this is more of a stewp (somewhere between a soup and a stew) if you want more liquid feel free to add extra broth.
Ingredients Needed for Hamburger Soup
- Lean ground beef – I usually use 85% lean.
- Olive oil – just use standard refined olive oil, not extra virgin.
- Yellow onion, carrots, celery, garlic – these aromatics are key to building up the flavor of the soup. Stick with fresh, not dried or frozen.
- Low-sodium beef broth – chicken broth will work great too.
- Canned fire roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce – the tomatoes in this recipe perfectly compliment the beef. If they happen to be a little tart you can add a pinch or two of sugar to balance that acidity.
- Worcestershire sauce – in a pinch you can omit this but it does add a nice background flavor.
- Russet potatoes – red potatoes or yellow potatoes will work fine too.
- Oregano, thyme, parsley – you can use dried or fresh herbs for this recipe.
- Frozen peas – frozen corn will work great here as well.
How to Make Hamburger Soup on the Stovetop
- Brown the beef: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Crumble in beef, cook and break up beef until no longer pink, about 6 – 7 minutes. Transfer, leave a little fat in pot.
- Saute the base vegetables: Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
- Add canned ingredients, potatoes and seasonings: Pour in beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, potatoes, oregano and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer soup: Bring mixture to a light boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer, until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
- Finish with peas and parsley: Stir in peas and let heat through. Stir in parsley and serve warm.
How to Make Hamburger Vegetable Soup in a Crockpot
This soup can also be made in a slow cooker. To do so:
- Brown beef in a skillet, add to slow cooker.
- Saute base veggies (onion, carrot, celery, garlic), add to slow cooker.
- Add canned ingredients, potatoes, and seasonings to slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat until vegetables are tender, about 6 hours.
- Stir in peas, warm through. Stir in parsley.
How to Make Hamburger Soup in the Instant Pot
Another option is the Instant Pot. Here are those directions:
- Brown beef in Instant Pot on “saute” setting, transfer beef to plate, leaving 1 Tbsp fat in pot.
- Saute carrot, onion, celery and garlic in Instant Pot. Turn to “off” setting.
- Add canned ingredients, potatoes, and seasonings to Instant Pot.
- Cover and seal, set valve to sealing position.
- Set to “manual” mode and set to 8 minutes.
- After time is up let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then you can quick release any remaining pressure (stand back it will sputter).
- Stir in peas, heat through (they’ll heat in about 1 minute). Stir in parsley.
Can I Add Pasta?
Yes pasta can be added but if doing so I’d omit the potatoes and replace with 1 cup dry pasta such as ditalini or macaroni, then you’ll also need to add 1 extra cup of broth to make up for what it will absorb.
Can I Substitute Cabbage or Other Vegetables?
Of course. Soups are so versatile, especially vegetable based soups. You can swap other veggies in here like chopped cabbage, green beans, corn, asparagus or zucchini.
Can Hamburger Soup Be Frozen?
Yes it can be frozen. The potatoes do soften up some but it’s still delicious. Store in an airtight container leaving at least 3/4-inch at top for expansion.
Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
What About Using Other Herbs?
Lots of different herbs will pair well here. You can try it with:
- bay leaves
- Italian seasoning blend
Tips for the Best Hamburger Soup
- Use lean ground beef, at least 80% lean.
- Drain off extra fat after browning beef so soup isn’t overly greasy. If you’d prefer to avoid this step then just use very lean ground beef such as 92% lean.
- I recommend using Angus or grass feed beef.
- Use fire roasted tomatoes to boost flavor.
- Be sure to allow enough time to simmer so veggies come out tender. No one wants to bite into hard potatoes.
More Beef Soup Recipes You’ll Enjoy
- Beef and Tomato Macaroni Soup
- Beef Stew (Slow Cooker)
- Chili (Slow Cooker)
- Pasta Fagioli
- Taco Soup
- Vegetable Beef Soup
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- 1.5 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth, or 1 cup more for a more brothy soup
- 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire
- 3 cups peeled and cubed Russet potatoes (cut about 1/2-inch thick)
- 1 tsp dried oregano, or 1 Tbsp fresh
- 3/4 tsp dried thyme, or 2 tsp fresh
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup frozen peas (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Crumble in beef, then cook and break up beef until no longer pink, about 6 - 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, leave 1 Tbsp fat in pot drain of excess.
- Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
- Pour in beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, browned beef, potatoes, oregano and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring mixture to a light boil, cover then reduce heat to low and let simmer, until potatoes are tender, about 25 - 35 minutes.
- Stir in peas and let heat through. Stir in parsley and serve warm.