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Easy Hamburger Soup

This easy hamburger soup is hearty and delicious. With ground beef, barley and vegetables in a tomato base it is a soup that the whole family can enjoy. Serve with some crusty bread or fresh rolls for a complete and comforting meal.

Hamburger soup in a bowl.  A pile of crackers to the left, a grey linen in the  background.

I grew up eating this soup. My mom made it often and now that I’m adult I know why. Not only is it hearty and delicious, but it is probably the easiest soup to make.

You can make this soup on the stove top or simmer it all day in the slow cooker and it turns out equally well both ways. The soup is hearty enough that it doesn’t need to be served with anything else, but my mom would usually make up a batch of fresh rolls to go with it.

I have always loved this soup and so has anyone else that I’ve served it to. In fact I remember one particular time when I was a teenager. I invited some friends over and we got into the pot of soup before my dad got home from work. As I remember it, he barely scraped together a bowl from the bit we left in the bottom of the pot. I wasn’t too popular that day.

A close up of a bowl of soup.  You can see hamburger, tomato, carrots and barley.

This soup is easy to customize and you can leave out or add extra vegetables to suit your tastes and family. You could also try replacing the barley with diced potatoes, or add some cooked pasta right at the end of the cook time.

How to make easy hamburger soup

  • In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain any fat and return the beef to the pot.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the pot, stir and place the lid on the pot.
  • Simmer on low for 2 hours, or until barley is plump.
  • Serve

How to make slow cooker hamburger soup

  • Brown the beef in a skillet, then drain any fat and add the cooked beef to the slow cooker.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, stir and place the lid on the pot.
  • Cook on low 6-8 hours.
  • Serve
A bowl in front of a blue pot.  Crackers on the left and bunch of parsley is in the background.

What should I serve with hamburger soup?

This soup really doesn’t need to be served with anything. It is great on its own or with a stack of crackers for dipping. If you are feeling more ambitious it is always fantastic with some fresh rolls or biscuits like these garlic knots or these cheddar chive biscuits.

A spoonful of soup being held over a bowl soup.


  • My kids don’t like the diced tomato, can I use something else? If your kids don’t like seeing the pieces of tomato, you can use crushed tomatoes instead.
  • Can I add extra vegetables to this soup? Absolutely, you can add any vegetables you like.
  • Could I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef? Yes, you can. The recipe will work great with either.
  • Is hamburger soup gluten free? This soup does call for a can of condensed tomato soup, which often contains wheat. If you need to ensure this soup is gluten free make sure you look for soup that has gluten free on the label, or you can substitute an equal amount of tomato sauce.
  • Does this hamburger soup freeze well? Yes it does. Simply transfer to air tight containers and freeze. If you find that it has thickened a bit, you can add some extra beef broth when you reheat it.
Overhead photo of soup in a white bowl with some crackers to the left and a spoon on the right.


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Hamburger soup in a white bowl. A spoon is on the right and a pile of crackers on the left.

Easy Hamburger Soup

This easy hamburger soup is hearty and delicious. With ground beef, barley and vegetables in a tomato base it is a soup that the whole family can enjoy.
4.80 from 5 votes
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Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 213kcal
Author: Deanna


  • 1 ½ Pounds Lean ground beef
  • 2 ½ Cups Carrots diced small
  • ½ Cup Pearl barley
  • 1 28 oz Can Diced tomatoes
  • 1 Can Tomato soup
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 4 Cups Beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Onion flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • In a large pot or dutch oven, brown the beef on medium heat, then drain any fat.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, stir to combine, then place the lid on the pot. Turn the burner to low and simmer for 2 hours.
  • Serve with crusty bread, crackers or dinner rolls.

To make this hamburger soup in a slow cooker

  • Brown the beef in a large skillet on the stove, then drain and add to the slow cooker.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine and place the lid on the cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours then serve.


Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 694mg | Potassium: 756mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6826IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 24th of March 2020

This soup was delicious and easy. My whole family liked it. We served it with some garlic bread for dipping.