Let me introduce you to the ultimate hearty soup – hamburger potato soup. Simple to make, minimal ingredients and such a hearty and delicious meal without being overly heavy, I promise this will be a family favorite.
My grandma Tita loved cooking with ground beef and potatoes, as seen in my Beef & Potato Tacos recipe. This is another one of her passed down recipes, what she referred to as Depression Soup, although I’ve also heard it called poor man’s soup. I promise no long stories about this favorite family recipe. All I’ll say is it’s easy, delicious and affordable. It will easily feed a family of 5 for just about $10 depending on how much you pay for your pound of ground beef. I know your whole family is going to love this hearty hamburger soup.
Why this recipe works
- Made with simple ingredients you’re guaranteed to have on hand.
- A perfect one pot meal that requires very little prep work and clean up.
- A comforting and filling good soup that’s not overly heavy.
- Family friendly soup that all the kids should love.
- Ready in under 30 minutes!
- Nutritious and healthy all on its own, but add some green beans if you’d like to include some veggies that complement the soup very nicely.
- 1-1.5 pound of lean ground beef (you can also use ground turkey, but will probably need to add extra salt since turkey tends to be a bit less flavorful)
- 1 medium potato for each person, peeled and cubed. I prefer to use russet potatoes but you can also use red potatoes.
- 1 small to medium onion diced nice and small
- Beef broth and water, or if you are using ground turkey, make sure to use chicken broth
- Flour to help thicken the soup, or if you would like to make gluten free potato soup, use corn starch, potato starch or arrowroot powder
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat, and sauté diced onions till translucent and fragrant. Add in the hamburger meat and brown ground beef till no longer pink, making sure to stir often and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. No need to get rid of the excess grease.
Sprinkle about 1-2 tablespoons on the ground beef just to coat it, and season well with salt and pepper.
Pour in the about 4 cups of broth and 1 cup of water, then add in the diced potatoes. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, just till potatoes are fork tender. Make sure not to over cook, as the potatoes will get mushy.
Take one final taste and add more salt and pepper as needed, then ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with some green onions and maybe even cheddar cheese.
Expert cooking tips
Because this hamburger potato soup recipe doesn’t use a lot of herbs and spices, you will need to use more salt and pepper than you think. Start with at least 2-3 teaspoons of salt and 1-2 teaspoons of pepper when you brown your meat. Then, after you add your broth and potatoes, add another 1-2 teaspoons of salt and pepper. You’ll want your tender potatoes to really soak up some flavor when they’re cooking away.
This is the perfect soup to make on a busy night because it comes together so easily. If I want it to go even quicker at dinner time, I will prep the potatoes in the morning by peeling and dicing them. I then store them in a bowl of water in the fridge to prevent them from browning.
This version of hamburger soup uses potatoes so that you can get an entire meal in one. But feel free to customize it a bit by adding in carrots, green beans and corn kernels.
Some versions of hamburger soup are mad in the crock pot or instant pot, but because this version cooks up so quickly, there’s really no need to. It is ready in under 30 minutes cooking time on the stove top, so I have never felt the need to try to fix what ain’t broken!
Watch the video
Potato soup lasts in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Make sure to store leftovers in an airtight container and to reheat, ladle out individual servings into soup bowls and reheat on high for 2 minutes.
To freeze potato soup leftovers, allow to cool completely, then distribute in single serve or a large Ziploc bag. Allow to thaw in the fridge or set in a cool water bath and thaw for the day. Reheat in a pot or individual soup bowls on the stove or in the microwave.
To thicken your potato soup even more, you can make a flour water slurry by whisking together 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon flour, then mixing well into the soup. Although if you make sure to lightly cover the ground beef with 1-2 tablespoons, the soup should come out plenty thick and creamy.
My family always ate potato soup with a slice of white bread and a thick coating of butter. Dipping the soft buttery bread into the warm soup was the best part! But definitely feel free to serve a thick crusty bread, as well as a side salad to get in a few extra greens.
Super easy to turn this into gluten free potato soup! Just use corn starch, arrowroot powder or even potato starch as your thickening agent.
Hamburger Potato Soup
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 lbs lean ground beef
- 4 medium sized russet potatoes
- 1-2 tbsp all purpose flour or other favorite gluten free thickening agent
- 4 cups beef broth may need to use 5 cups
- 1 cup water
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat, and sauté diced onions till translucent and fragrant.
- Add in the hamburger meat and brown ground beef till no longer pink, making sure to stir often and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. No need to get rid of the excess grease.
- Sprinkle about 1-2 tablespoons all purpose flour on the ground beef just to coat it, and season well with salt and pepper.
- Pour in the about 4 cups of broth and 1 cup of water, then add in the diced potatoes. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, just till potatoes are fork tender. Make sure not to over cook, as the potatoes will get mushy. Adjust salt and pepper as needed