Save on Pinterest

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.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Hussy
    Feb 10, 2021

    Good solid recipe! I can certainly understand why your children request this one. This is in our regular rotation and I always make a double batch. Giving this four stars due to changes I made to suit our preferences. We prefer broth or stock to bouillon granules. If using store-bought broth, I prefer chicken. (Yes, even in a beef recipe. Commercially prepared chicken stock has more protein than its beef counterpart and therefore packs more flavor.) This is a versatile recipe that also works well with ground turkey and lends itself to any vegetables you have on hand. Corn, peas and kidney beans are all fine additions. I do not recommend using canned vegetables, with the exception of corn and kidney beans (or other legumes), which are bit sturdier. If you do use them, only add to the last 15 minutes of cooking. They are already cooked, so they only need heating up. If you can get them, fresh green beans make a world of difference here. I sauté the onion in a little olive oil for 4-5 minutes and add in one clove of minced garlic for the last 90 seconds of sauté time. I omit the salt and add a bay leaf to punch up the flavor a bit. Those who want even more flavor can sub out the diced tomatoes for flavored diced tomatoes, e.g., with Italian herbs, fire roasted, etc. We like a high ratio of ingredients to broth in our soups, so I usually double the vegetables. Freezes nicely – assuming you have any leftover to freeze! Thanks for sharing this one, Barbara.

  • Alison
    Jan 21, 2021

    Listen. I don't know what contest these jokers from Wisconsin won with this crap, but they're obviously missing taste buds. And that was after we added a shit-ton of extra ingredients just to make it half way edible. Thank god for garlic, season salt, and a healthy dose of Doritos. Good lord, soup shouldn't be that hard. I mean really, "contest winning." I THINK NOT. Unless you were winning the kindergarten potluck. Dear God, my guest that I served it too probably thinks I'm the world's worst cook. I can't even. For the love, just don't make this freaking recipe. Save your onions, your carrots, and your common sense and just keep on scrolling. This sucker is NOT a winner.

  • T
    Dec 21, 2020

    Very easy to make and delicious. Because I wanted to reduce a trip to the store I used the jar of strained tomato sauce in the pantry rather than the can of chopped tomatoes. I also used Campbells beef with red wine broth (new product) because it was on hand rather than water and bullion. Would definitely make this one again.

  • Diana
    Nov 25, 2020

    No comment left

  • Linda
    Nov 20, 2020

    I have made this recipe many times now - its delicious!! I have made it for friends & neighbors- everyone loves it!!

  • Suzesmith
    Oct 10, 2020

    No comment left

  • Jane
    Sep 27, 2020

    I love this soup! After it is all assembled I put it in a slow cooker for several hours. This brings out And blends the flavors.

  • Tina
    Sep 20, 2020

    I loved it I just made it n I shared it with my friend n she like it to

  • Mary-Jo
    Jul 7, 2020

    No comment left

  • 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.