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Contest-Winning Hearty Hamburger Soup

At family get-togethers, our children always request this spirit-warming ground beef soup along with a fresh loaf of homemade bread and tall glasses of milk. This hamburger soup has robust flavor, plenty of fresh-tasting vegetables and is easy to make. —Barbara Brown, Janesville, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 30 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings (2 quarts)


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup cut fresh or frozen green beans


  • In a large saucepan, brown beef; drain. Add the next 10 ingredients; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add green beans. Cover and simmer 15 minutes longer or until the beans are tender.

Hamburger Soup Tips

Can you use chicken broth with ground beef?

Yes, you can use chicken broth! In most recipes, you can substitute chicken broth or bouillon granules for beef. Doing so will only slightly change the flavor.

How do you thicken hamburger soup?

After the potatoes and carrots are tender, ladle 1 cup of hot broth into a bowl containing 4 tablespoons of flour and whisk until smooth. Add the slurry back to the soup; stir and simmer until green beans are tender and soup is slightly thickened. Check out our other soup thickening tips!

How do you make hamburger soup more flavorful?

For additional flavor, try roasting your vegetables until they are halfway cooked and then add them to the soup. Adjust the simmering time based on when the veggies are fully tender. Substituting ¾ teaspoon fresh minced oregano for the dried will also kick up the flavor. These flavor boosters work well, too.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 178 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 984mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 13g protein.

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  • Lisa
    May 20, 2020

    So easy. The only thing I did differently was to use 2 10 ounce cans of RO-TEL diced tomatoes with green chilies because that was all I had. We love it. I have to make a double batch every time.

  • Linda
    Apr 22, 2020

    Not a fan of ground beef but this is the BEST soup!!

  • 2124arizona
    Mar 28, 2020

    Took this to work and it was loved by all!!

  • Vivian
    Mar 24, 2020

    Try using a turnip instead of a potato

  • rmbarr059
    Jan 30, 2020

    So yummy and versatile. I used sweet potatoes because that’s what I had on hand and it was delicious.

  • Catherine
    Dec 30, 2019

    My daughter and I enjoy this soup for dinner. I make a few changes due to health concerns: do not add any salt, use very lean hamburger, the chopped onion, finely chopped garlic , add low sodium beef broth instead of bouillon, low sodium diced tomatoes, add in a dash of thyme, a bay leaf, fresh ground pepper, other spices as called for, use 1 bag frozen stew veggies instead of fresh, add a small bag of fresh baby spinach. We season with salt to taste at the table. The soup always turns out yummy.

  • Mary
    Nov 27, 2019

    I cook this often, but I also add a small head of cabbage, wonderful!

  • Amanda
    Nov 24, 2019

    Cooked this for my boyfriend and I since he grew up on hamburger soup. I did not so all new to me lol. Made a few tweaks and now it will be part of our hamburger rotation. Incredibly tasty. I added fresh garlic, Worcestershire, peas instead of green beans, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning and used 3 cups of water and a cup and a half of beef broth with red wine.

  • dcscake_OH
    Aug 29, 2019

    Great soup. I left out the salt added a can ot tomato soup and added mixed vegetables instead of green beans. Turned out great, also added more broth - beef, like more liquid

  • Brittney
    Oct 24, 2018

    This is a favorite soup of mine as it reminds me of one my grandmother would make often. The only things I change to my liking is adding an extra 3 cups of broth as I prefer more liquid in my soups, added a few fresh jalapeño peppers and a bay leaf. I make this with some rustic bread for a nice warming simple fall supper.