How can something called "Poor Man's Soup" look this appetizing?! Meat and vegetable based, this hamburger soup is made from very basic ingredients you already have on hand. Inexpensive and healthy, this soup recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner! It's a healthy comfort food!
Poor Man's Soup
Simple. Hearty. Delicious.
That's the perfect way to describe my version of this Poor Man's Soup. Soups are perfect for weeknight meals. Especially in the middle of the week when I'm halfway burnt out and it's just not Friday yet! Sometimes I just need an easy dinner, like this One Pan Sausage and Vegetables. An easy dinner that still tastes amazing. And that's when we queue in this simple, hearty, and delish Poor Man's Soup.
I went to our local farmer's market a couple of weeks ago and they filled my basket with fresh corn, squash, zucchini, green beans, cabbage, carrots and chives. For $10.00. YES - I got all THAT for $10.00! I got enough fresh vegetables to last me about 2 weeks and we all know fresh vegetables do not last 2 weeks. So I knew it was time to make my Poor Man's soup because everyone in my family loves it.
Is it Called Hamburger Soup or Poor Man's Soup?
I know, the name of this soup is not the most elegant. You will hear a lot of people refer to this as "Hamburger Soup" and "Poor Man's Soup". I've even heard it referred to as "Kitchen Sink Soup". I think the most popular name is "Hamburger Soup". Personally, I don't think it matters what you call it. It's delicious and jam packed with veggies. It's the perfect healthy dinner choice.
Ingredients for Poor Man's Soup
I'll know it's time to make this hamburger soup recipe when my fresh vegetables have been in my crisper for 2-3 days and I haven't used them yet. Poor Man's Soup has a rich tomato broth full of a variety of vegetables. And that's the beauty of this soup...I use different vegetables every time I make this soup. When I don't want my fresh veggies to go to waste, I make a batch. And then sometimes, I use a bag of frozen vegetables. It's really just depends what I have on hand.
Let's take a look at the typical ingredients I use:
- Ground Beef - also known as hamburger meat, this is an inexpensive protein that adds flavor.
- Cabbage - delivers a lot of fiber.
- Onion - enhances the flavor.
- Beef Bouillon - brings out the beef flavoring to help differentiate between a typical vegetable soup.
- Tomato Juice - adds that comforting hearty flavor to the base of the soup.
- Green Chile - adds a bit of spice, but by no means makes this soup spicy. Green chile is a flavor enhancer.
- Dice Tomatoes - tasty and delicious ingredient to almost any soup.
- Carrots - leave the peelings on. That's where all the nutrients are.
- Zucchini - tender and super healthy vegetable. Again, leave the peeling on.
- Squash - full of vitamin C.
- Corn - provides a bit of crunch to the soup and also provides antioxidants. Corn contains zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron.
How to Make Hamburger Soup
- First, brown the meat on stove top and drain any grease.
- Chop all the vegetables and rinse them well in a colander.
- In a large pot, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Lower the temperature to medium to medium-low, cover with a lid and let the soup finish cooking for an hour.
- After an hour, this soup is ready to serve
How to Make Crock Pot Hamburger Soup
Oh....did I mention you can make Hamburger Soup in the Crock Pot?!?! It only takes 4 simple steps:
- Brown the ground beef on the stove top and drain any grease.
- Chop the vegetables and rinse well in a colander.
- Add all the ingredients to the Crock Pot and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
It really just doesn't get any easier than that. This is the easiest soup recipe ever.
Expert Tips and Common Questions
- Freezer Friendly - this soup freezes really well. Once it's cooled, pour the soup into a freezer safe container. It will last for 3-4 months in the freezer. To thaw, just place the frozen soup in the refrigerator and let it naturally and slowly thaw. It will take about 8-12 hours to completely thaw in the fridge. Then, you can warm it up in the microwave or on the stove.
- What goes in Hamburger Soup? Just about anything, really. I like to use a higher fat ground beef to enhance the flavor. Depending on what vegetables you have on hand, I sometimes add green beans, potatoes, and sometime even elbow macaroni noodles. It's an extremely versatile soup.
- Is Hamburger Soup healthy? Yes, it's SUPER healthy! It's full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, high in fiber, gluten free, and low in carbs and calories.
- Can I make this ahead of time? Yes! It’s such a great recipe to make ahead of time. It will last in the refrigerator for about 4 days. It's also budget friendly soup and is a perfect for lunch or dinner...and also as a snack!
What to Serve with Hamburger Soup
I like to keep it simple some nights for dinner. Typically, I serve this Poor Man's Soup with a fresh green salad, like my Autumn Chopped Salad or this Greek Kale and Quinoa Salad. My Quick Peppery Cheese Bread also goes perfectly with this soup.
Simple and classic comfort food at its best. Hearty, healthy and satisfying and perfect on a cool evening to keep warm. Gluten free and clean eating at its finest.
More Soups You'll Love!
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Poor Man's Soup
Stove Top Instructions
- Brown meat on stove and drain any grease.
- In a large pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Lower the temperature to medium to medium-low and let cook covered for an hour.
- After an hour, this soup is ready to serve!
Crock Pot Instructions
- Brown meat on stove and drain any grease.
- Add all ingredients to the Crock Pot and stir to combine.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- You can use frozen or fresh vegetables in this Poor Man's Soup
Update Notes: This post was originally published in February 2018, but was re-published with updated step-by-step instructions, pictures, and tips in August 2019.