Recipe: Old-Fashioned Hamburger Soup


Who doesn’t love a recipe that brings back a little childhood nostalgia? The foods that we think of as comfort foods are often the same ones we loved as children. They might seem weird to other people, but for us, they taste like home. My mom is a fantastic cook, so it’s hard to choose even a few favourites, but the other day I was reminded of one of HER childhood favourites that my grandma used to make. Hamburger soup!

I love everything about this soup. It’s got loads of vegetables, tons of flavour, and is a complete meal in a bowl. Perfection!

Now, the original recipe is most definitely from the glorified 1950’s era where every recipe started (and ended) with canned foods, and easily contained a few extra tsp of salt per serving. My version on the other hand, is made from fresh, whole ingredients, and is slowly simmered in the slow cooker all day so it’s ready when you walk in the door! Perfect for a busy winter weeknight, or a weekend slow-food meal.

I prep my soup the night before, put everything in the slow cooker pot, then place the whole slow cooker pot into the fridge overnight. Then in the morning before heading out the door I just put it into the base, and turn it on!

Old-Fashioned Hamburger Soup

Makes 1 large slow-cooker full

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 6+ hours


  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 6 stalks celery, 2 minced, 4 cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 medium carrots, 2 minced, 4 cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tsp olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 large cans no-salt added crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 litre (4 cups) no salt-added beef stock (or homemade beef stock)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice or pasta

1. Heat oil in frying pan. Add onion and minced carrots and celery and cook until soft. Place cooked vegetables into slow cooker pot.

2. Using same frying pan, cook ground beef until cooked through and no pink spots remain. Add meat to slow cooker pot.

3. Add rest of chopped vegetables, tomatoes, broth, bay leaves and garlic to slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours (or longer…it can simmer all day)

4. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add cooked rice or pasta to soup to re-heat before serving. You can also cook the rice or pasta right in the soup, just add it in dry 30-60 minutes before serving. I like to cook it separately (usually the day before when I’m prepping my soup) just to save time when I walk in the door from work and want to eat right away.

6. Enjoy!

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