Contest-Winning Hearty Hamburger Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Cook: 30 min.
Hamburger soup is a humble soup made with vegetables and ground beef. The simple ingredients come together to create a hearty and robust soup that will satisfy your comfort food cravings without weighing you down.

Updated: Apr. 12, 2024

Hamburger soup is a dish that goes by many names—maybe you know it as beef and vegetable soup or poor man’s stew. No matter the name, it’s a ground beef soup recipe with a tomato-infused broth and plenty of veggies. The ingredients come together to create a rich, comforting soup that maintains a lighter feel thanks to its consistency.

You can use almost any vegetable to make this recipe—even leftover ones—but we recommend including potatoes. Hamburger potato soup is filling and hearty, with the tender potatoes soaking up the savory tomato broth as the soup simmers.

Ingredients for Hamburger Soup

  • Ground beef: You can use any type of ground beef for this recipe. 80/20 blends are the most flavorful, but lean ground beef and ground sirloin are less greasy.
  • Beef bouillon granules: We use beef bouillon in this recipe, but you can use chicken bouillon if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Tomatoes: A can of diced tomatoes is added to the water and bouillon to create the brothy tomato base for this soup.
  • Vegetables: Tender chunks of carrots, potatoes, onions, celery and green beans add variety to hamburger soup. When it comes to choosing the right type of potato, russet potatoes will become more tender, but Yukon Gold potatoes will stay firm and contribute a buttery flavor.


Step 1: Brown the beef

Cooking the beef in a large saucepan, stirring with a spatulaTMB Studio

In a large saucepan, brown the beef. Drain and discard the grease.

Step 2: Simmer the hamburger soup

Mixing water, carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, beef bouillon granules in a large saucepan TMB Studio

Add the water, diced tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, beef bouillon granules, salt, pepper and oregano. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cover the pot and simmer the soup for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

Step 3: Finish with the green beans

Hamburger Soup cooking in a large saucepan, placed on a wooden table.TMB Studio

Add the green beans. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, until the beans are tender.

Hamburger Soup is served with bread on side, placed on a wooden tableTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Vary the vegetables: You can make this hamburger vegetable soup with any veggies you have on hand. Use a mixture of frozen vegetables, or try a combination of peas, corn, bell peppers, turnips, sweet potatoes, cabbage, zucchini or mushrooms.
  • Spice it up: Add your favorite spice blend to the mix, from herbaceous Italian seasoning to spicy Cajun seasoning. You can also finish the soup with a splash of vinegar to brighten up the flavors, or with a dash of umami-rich Worcestershire sauce for depth.
  • Roast the vegetables: For additional flavor, try roasting your vegetables until they are halfway cooked. Add them to the soup, and adjust the simmering time based on the tenderness of the veggies.
  • Use another meat: You can use any type of ground meat in this recipe. Try wild game, pork or sausage to add bold flavor. Or look to lean ground turkey or chicken if you’re trying to reduce your intake of saturated fats.
  • Include pasta: Small pasta shapes that fit on a spoon—like macaroni, orzo, egg noodles or farfalle—work particularly well in soup.

How to Store Hamburger Soup

Store hamburger soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat the soup on the stovetop until warmed through. The potatoes will absorb some of the liquid as the soup sits, so adjust the consistency as needed with added broth or water.

Hamburger Soup Tips

Hamburger Soup served in small bowls with bread.TMB Studio

Can you make hamburger soup without beef broth?

We use beef bouillon granules and water to make our hamburger soup recipe, but you can make this recipe with any type of broth. Feel free to use chicken broth or vegetable broth instead. Doing so will change the flavor slightly, so adjust the seasonings as needed.

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 the green beans are tender and the soup is slightly thickened. If you’d prefer to use a gluten-free thickener, try cornstarch, arrowroot or tomato paste. Check out the details in our guide for how to thicken soup.

What do you serve with hamburger soup?

Our favorite way to serve this hearty hamburger soup is with a simple side salad and crusty bread. If you want to upgrade the bread accompaniment, try making fluffy biscuits, a side of cheesy garlic bread or one of these gluten-free bread recipes.

Watch how to Make Contest-Winning Hearty Hamburger Soup

Hamburger Soup with Potatoes

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 30 min
Yield 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


  1. In a large saucepan, brown beef; drain. Add the next 10 ingredients; bring to a boil.
  2. 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.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 167 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 972mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 12g protein.

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