Old Fashioned Hamburger Soup

My great grandmother used to make a soup like this that was such a big hit, the recipe got passed down for generations. My father made her hamburger soup for me and now I make it for my family. This recipe follows my great grandmother’s, but with a few additions of seasonings for extra flavor. Not only is this soup nutritious and comforting, but it’s a cheaper way to feed a large family.

You’ll chop up your onion, carrot, bell pepper and garlic, add it all (except garlic) to a pot with olive oil (or really any fat you have on hand) and cook until it is softened.

Add the ground beef and minced garlic and cook until the beef is completely browned. I break mine apart with a wooden spoon, but you could leave it in large chunks.

Add all the other ingredients except for the pasta. This is how it should look. This recipe uses water, but you can use vegetable or beef broth if you have some on hand. Its perfect without it, but it will only add to the flavor. Simmer it for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. The longer you simmer it, the better it gets.

Cook up your pasta, drain and add it to the soup. Use my Frugal Homemade Pasta Recipe to save money & add to the delish factor. But you can also use any type of pasta you would like. I grew up eating this soup with elbow noodles in it.

If you need to bulk up the meal to feed a crowd on a budget, think about serving it with some Soft White Bread (Easy & Cheap) or Skillet Corn Bread. I like to serve this with bread and a salad… it makes me feel like I’m getting that famous restaurant’s soup, salad & bread combo right in my own home.

Old Fashioned Hamburger Soup Recipe

( 6-8 servings )


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 28oz crushed tomatoes
  • 28oz water
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt(or to your taste)
  • 2 teaspoons pepper(or to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Optional: 1/2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Frugal Homemade Pasta Recipe OR half a box of your favorite pasta (elbow noodles are great!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Dice the onion, bell pepper, carrot, garlic. Sauté them, except garlic, in the olive oil in a large pot/Dutch oven on medium until softened.
  2. Add the ground beef and the garlic to the veggie mixture and sauté until cooked. If your ground beef has a higher fat content, consider draining some of the fat after it is browned.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning and spicy brown mustard. Stir well, and then add the 28oz of crushed tomatoes. Pour water into the empty can of tomatoes and add to the pot. Add the bay leaves and stir well. Simmer, covered, on low for 30 minutes-3 hours(the longer you simmer, the better it gets), then turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. Make the pasta, or cook your favorite pasta to package directions. Drain it and add it to the pot of soup. Serve immediately!

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