Ground Beef Vegetable Soup, or sometimes called Hamburger Soup, is a flavorful and chunky tomato beef based soup loaded with group beef, chunky tomatoes, veggies and potatoes.
It is an old fashion quick one-pot meal that is ready under 30 minutes, making it the perfect easy dinner for busy evenings. It is satisfying, cozy and so delicious!
Why Ground Beef Vegetable Soup
What I love about ground beef vegetable soup is that we are combining protein, veggies and carbs to make a well-rounded one-bowl meal.
Using pantry-friendly ingredients, everything is cooked in one large pot or Dutch oven, it takes little effort and minimal time to cook and clean to bring a healthy and delicious meal to the dinner table.
If you are familiar with old fashion Beef Vegetable Soup, this is a similar soup using ground beef instead of beef chunk. Ground beef cooks a lot faster and we don’t have to wait for it to boil until tender – beef chuck takes a little while to cook down.
In addition, this is also more economical and budget friendly. Ground beef is typically much cheaper than stew meat! I like using lean ground beef so that we are not stuck with a whole lot of grease thus making it a healthier option than regular ground beef.
We make ground beef vegetable soup often during busy weeknights, and refrigerate leftovers for the next day. I even freeze my hamburger soup when I need to meal prep ahead of time.
This ground beef vegetable soup recipe is chunky and hearty, with a tomato beef based broth that is savory and soothing. It is loaded with lean ground beef, celery, carrots, peas, green beans, potatoes and tomatoes…all the good stuff!
I love to serve ground beef vegetable soup with crusty bread, and cozy up with a bowl of it on a colder Fall or winter day under my warm blanket in front of the TV. It truly is my happy place.
As I mentioned earlier, ground beef vegetable soup calls for simple, pantry-friendly ingredients. Most likely, you already have most (or even all) of the ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator!
Here are the ingredient notes:
- lean ground beef – I typically use ground beef with 90% or higher lean meat for a healthier and less greasy soup. This way you won’t need to drain the grease from the beef after searing it.
- onions – white or yellow onions
- garlic – using fresh garlic makes the broth more flavorful, but in a pinch, you can use garlic powder.
- celery – dice celery stalks into small 1-inch pieces
- canned whole tomatoes – canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes work as well
- beef broth – use good quality broth! It truly makes the soup a whole lot tastier
- beef bouillon – This is optional but it really does bring a whole lot of flavor to the soup. I use this beef bouillon and the flavors are excellent.
- potatoes – red, yellow, russet potatoes…any kind works! Dice into small 1-inch cubes so that they soften quickly in the soup.
- frozen mixed vegetables – this is usually a combination of carrots, peas, corn and green beans.
- herbs – I use thyme and oregano for this hamburger soup recipe. Other herbs such as bay leaves, parsley, Italian seasoning, etc can be used as well.
- spices – granulated sugar (just a pinch of it, used to balance out the flavors), salt and black pepper
To make this vegetable soup with ground beef recipe, you will need a large pot or Dutch oven 6 qt or larger.
How to make it
First, grab that large pot or Dutch oven, and heat on stove top with vegetable oil. Once vegetable oil is heated, sear onions until they are softened, then add garlic and cook for another minute or so, or until fragrant.
Add lean ground beef, season with salt and black pepper, and sear until most of the meat is no longer pink.
Next, add celery, whole tomatoes, and beef broth. Stir to combine.
Add thyme, oregano and diced potatoes. Boil for 5-7 minutes, or until potatoes softened.
After that, add mixed vegetables and bring to a boil again.
Lastly, add beef bouillon, and season the soup with granulated sugar, salt and black pepper – to balance and open up the flavors.
Feel free to add more spices to taste and adjust accordingly.
Remember that salt doesn’t just add saltiness to ground beef vegetable soup, but has the ability to open up the flavors especially if the soup tastes bland. You’ll be surprise by how a little bit of it can bring so much more flavors to your hamburger soup!
If you like your hamburger soup thicker, you can boil it longer. If soup is too thick, add more beef broth to thin it out.
Remove ground beef vegetable soup from heat once it is done so it doesn’t dry up, and serve with crusty bread. I love my crusty bread…
Ground beef vegetable soup should be chunky yet surrounded with lots of clear broth. It makes the perfect easy one-pot weeknight dinner.
Variations and Substitutions
Here are a few other different ways to make this old fashion ground beef vegetable soup:
- Use other herbs: bay leaf, Italian seasoning, parsley, dried basil etc
- Use other seasoning such as Worcestershire can bring some depth in flavor to this dish.
- Instead of using whole tomatoes, use diced or crush tomatoes. You can use tomato sauce but I find the flavor slightly more blend and you will miss the nice chunks of tomatoes.
- Instead of frozen vegetables, you can use fresh. I use frozen here for the ease. Because vegetable will be cooked down in the soup, I find that it doesn’t make that much of a difference using frozen in terms of texture and it saves so much time!
- Add other veggies such as spinach, kale, red bell peppers, or any of your favorite! This is a great way to use up produce from your refrigerator as well.
Storage and Reheating
Ground beef vegetable soup saves really well in the refrigerator and freezer. Because of that, this is such a great recipe to make ahead, eat as leftovers or meal prep.
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to reheat hamburger soup, simple bring to a complete defrost if frozen, and reheat in the microwave.
Ways to Serve This
There are so many ways to serve this delicious ground beef vegetable soup:
- Bread: crust bread such as sourdough or flavored bread such as cheesy garlic rolls.
- Salad: for a healthier take, salads such as Fall Harvest Salad and Strawberry Bacon Spinach Salad are great ways to add even more veggies to the meal.
- Fruits: Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing, Watermelon Strawberry Salad, Grape Walnut Salad, or simply cut up some fresh fruits to serve as a side.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sear onion, garlic and ground beef on the stovetop, then add to slow cooker along with all the ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
Using the ‘sear’ setting to sear onion, garlic and ground beef, then add the rest of the ingredients into the pot. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, and let it release pressure naturally for 5 minutes. Then release pressure manually.
You will want to drain the excess fat after searing ground beef if ground beef has less than 90% lean meat.
Absolutely! See freezing instructions above.
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Ground Beef Vegetable Soup
- 1 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup sweet onions diced
- 3-5 cloves garlic minced
- 3 stalk celery diced
- 32 oz canned whole tomatoes
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 lbs potatoes diced
- 1 lbs frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp beef bouillon optional
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven 6qt or larger on the stove top. Add vegetable oil. Once oil is hot, sear onions until they are soft. Then add garlic, sear for 30-60 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add ground beef. Season with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Sear until it is no longer pink-ish.
- Add celery, whole tomatoes, beef broth, potatoes, thyme and oregano. Bring to a boil, then let soup simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until potatoes are softened.
- Add frozen mixed vegetables, bring to a boil again.
- Add granulated sugar and beef bouillon. Stir, then add salt to taste.
- Remove from heat. Serve and enjoy!