This hamburger soup recipe is a simple and hearty meal made with ground beef, potatoes, and a delicious tomato broth. It's a budget friendly complete meal that makes excellent leftovers!
You may also like my Instant Pot hamburger soup recipe.
What is hamburger soup?
Hamburger soup is one of those classic American comfort food dishes that's easy to like! You can't go wrong with this cozy soup that has ground beef, potatoes, and a tomato broth that's big on flavor.
As for the name, it's called hamburger soup because of the ground beef, which is sometimes referred to as hamburger meat. This soup doesn't actually taste like hamburgers, and it's essentially a satisfying and simple ground beef soup. It's sort of like a quick and easy alternative to beef stew.
The best part of this soup is how easy to make it is. It's also full of inexpensive ingredients, and it's an extremely versatile and flexible recipe. You can simply toss in whatever veggies you have on hand that need using up, and it'll taste great!
What you'll need to make hamburger soup
- Olive oil, onions, and celery - sautéing these essentials creates the perfect base for this hearty soup
- Garlic - we're using three cloves to add depth of flavor
- Ground beef - adding protein makes this soup a complete meal. I like to use 95% extra lean ground beef so that none of the fat needs to be discarded during cooking
- Tomato paste and diced tomatoes - using both varieties gives the soup great texture and taste, and tomatoes are a classic complement to ground beef
- Beef broth - amps up the flavor even more than using water. Use homemade or store-bought
- Potatoes - Russets are my choice, but in a pinch yellow or red will be fine
- Italian seasoning - the herbs in Italian seasoning like oregano, thyme, and rosemary are the final touch in this tasty broth. Feel free to use fresh herbs instead
- Salt & pepper - if you use regular broth vs low sodium, you won't need to add much salt, but be sure to use enough
Did you know?
- A 32 oz carton of beef broth equals 4 cups. Just pour the entire thing in for this recipe!
How to make hamburger soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
In a large soup pot, sauté the onions and celery in olive oil until softened. Add in the garlic, and brown the ground beef.
Add in the tomato paste followed by the diced tomatoes, broth, potatoes, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then let bubble gently for 20 to 25 minutes.
Substitutions and variations
- If you don't like having pieces of tomato in your soup, use petite diced tomatoes or sub the diced tomatoes for tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, and then add more broth or water to thin if needed.
- You can throw in any vegetables from your fridge, or you can use frozen chopped mixed vegetables (for example, corn, green beans, carrots, or peas). A handful of spinach added when the soup is nearly done cooking would be terrific!
- I used Russet potatoes, but feel free to sub with a different kind. I really like using Russets in soups because they fall apart easily since they're a starchy variety.
- I use extra lean (95% lean) ground beef, so I don't find it necessary to discard any of the fat. This saves a bit of work, and the little bit of fat that's left over gives the soup a flavor boost! You can drain the fat if you want. I certainly recommend draining some out if you use regular ground beef, or the soup will end up oily.
- Depending on what kind of tomatoes you use, your soup could be less vibrant than the photos. That's totally ok!
Leftovers and storage
- This hamburger soup makes fantastic leftovers, and they'll keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
- It also freezes well. Consume within 3 months of freezing for best results.
Do you like hamburger soup? Will you give this recipe a try? Let me know in the comments below!
Easy Hamburger Soup
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound extra lean (95% lean) ground beef
- 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 large Russet potatoes peeled & diced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the olive oil, onion, and celery to a large soup pot. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, until softened.
- Stir in the garlic, followed by the beef. Cook until the beef has browned, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes). You shouldn't need to drain much fat if you're using extra lean ground beef, but feel free to drain some/most of it if desired (I didn't drain any).
- Stir in the tomato paste, then add in the diced tomatoes, beef broth, potatoes, and Italian seasoning.
- Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat a bit so it's gently boiling. Cook for 20-25 minutes. You can cook it a little bit longer to intensify the flavor if you wish.
- Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately.
- Serves 4-6.
- Anything from about 1 to 1.5 pounds ground beef will work.
- Got an electric pressure cooker? Try the Instant Pot version of this recipe.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This recipe was originally published on January 30, 2019. It's been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!