Combine tender vegetables and savory ground beef in a flavorful broth to get a mouthwatering vegetable soup with ground beef, packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein.
When my son was working on his cooking merit badge for Boy Scouts, he had to look up his daily requirement of vegetables on Choose My Plate.
That was an eye-opening discovery. And an embarrassing one, since I like to think we eat a good amount of vegetables. But not enough, apparently.
Let’s just say, my son consumed far below the recommended amount. Like many teenagers, he doesn’t like to eat his veggies — much to my despair.
In an attempt to entice him to eat more vegetables every day, I came up with a series of Eat-Your-Veggies recipes. These recipes “hide” the taste of vegetables by mixing them with foods he finds more appealing.
The most popular Eat-Your-Veggies recipes are healthy smoothies with vegetables blended in with the fruit — virtually invisible to the taste buds.
Soups are equally effective in hiding veggies in plain sight.
This hamburger soup contains vegetables, but they are non-threatening to him because they are surrounded by savory ground beef.
History of Vegetable Soup with Ground Beef
Vegetable soups have been eaten since ancient times. Nothing is easier than throwing seasonal vegetables into a pot of broth to feed a large crowd. Adding ground beef to the mix adds iron and protein and infuses savory into the soup.
This hamburger vegetable soup recipe calls for the top four most purchased vegetables in the United States (potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and carrots). Plus it adds celery, garlic, green beans, and peas. You are covered when it comes to a variety of vegetables.
When you add ground beef to the pot, you get your protein and all your vegetables in an easy dinner recipe. Pair it with homemade rolls or cornbread to complete the meal.
Nutrition in the Ingredients
Each ingredient in this vegetable soup is nutritious. Read on to see all the healthy benefits in the ingredients.
Potatoes: A serving of potatoes contains vitamin C, vitamin B-6, iron, fiber, and more potassium than a banana. All this without fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
Onions: An onion adds flavor like no other vegetable. In addition to the flavor it contributes, onions are also full of antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds.
Garlic: Garlic is another ingredient that infuses flavor into any recipe. Not much garlic is needed to add flavor, but for the small amount in a recipe, it is incredibly nutritious. It has a little bit of all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients a person needs.
Carrots: The carrot is chock full of carotenoids, an antioxidant and plant pigment producing the bright orange color.
Celery: Celery is alkalizing, full of fiber, and helpful in digestion.
Green Beans: Green beans, the unripe, young fruit and pods of common beans, are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K. They also have a good amount of chlorophyll.
Peas: Peas contain pretty much all the vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy, plus an unusually high amount of protein for a vegetable.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are full of carotenoids, especially lutein and lycopene. When tomatoes are eaten with other vegetables, the unique carotenoids help the body absorb the antioxidants found in other fruits and vegetables.
Not all ground beef is created equally. In order to get the best taste and nutrition from your ground beef, choose the best cut.
Ground chuck is the best choice for this soup. It has a rich flavor and is 78-84% lean. You can also use sirloin instead of ground chuck with good results.
A serving of ground beef provides more than half the daily required protein, plus a significant portion of iron and zinc, in addition to B-12, B-6, niacin, and riboflavin.
However, ground beef also has more calories, fat, and cholesterol than plant-based proteins. Limiting ground beef in your diet can be wise. Therefore, adding a portion of ground beef to a pot of vegetable soup entices you to eat a lot of vegetables with a small amount of ground beef.
You get the best of both worlds — significant protein, plus vitamins and minerals from vegetables, while controlling calories, fat, and cholesterol.
7 Reasons to Make Vegetable Soup with Ground Beef
- Easy to make. You need almost no skill to make this soup successfully. The hardest part of the recipe is cutting the vegetables. But even that can be managed if you use packages of frozen vegetables.
I personally like to peel and chop my own vegetables so I get exactly the vegetables I want. And maybe it is just me, but I like the taste of fresh vegetables better than frozen vegetables.
- Versatile. Use whatever vegetables you want. Add a couple not on the ingredient list or take a couple out you don’t like. Customize with seasonal produce.
- Inexpensive. Vegetables and ground beef are not very pricey. Nice on the pocketbook.
- Healthy. Eating vegetables is one of the most overlooked strategies we can all do to maintain our health. And eating a variety of veggies is even better since your body will absorb different vitamins and minerals from the different vegetables.
- Simple to make ahead. Throw the ingredients together in the morning so they are ready to cook in the evening.
Or cook the soup the night before and reheat it for dinner. The soup will taste good for 2 or 3 days, so make it when you have time, and eat it when you need dinner quickly.
- Freezes well. Meat, vegetables, and broth all freeze, thaw, and reheat beautifully. Freeze it in a freezer zip top bag or in a freezer container. Thaw it overnight and reheat it for dinner.
- Makes a great leftover. Double the recipe just so you can have leftovers. Many soups taste better the next day. Vegetable soup with ground beef is no exception. Why? Because the complex carbohydrates, like fructose from the vegetables, break down making the veggies taste a little sweeter. The vegetables also have a chance to absorb the broth, creating more flavor.
That isn’t to say you have to wait a day or two to eat the soup. It just means that you don’t have to worry if you need to make the food ahead of time.
Tips for Making Vegetables Appealing for Non-Veggie Lovers
When adding vegetables to any soup, follow these tips to calm your veggie-scared family members.
- Cut the vegetables into small pieces. Really small, if you need to. Make them hard to see. Make them hard to pick out.
- Don’t use the non-starter vegetables. These are the veggies that you or your child just can’t stand. Even if the recipe calls for them, give the soup a chance with your child before adding all the veggies in.
- Add a higher ratio of ground beef than vegetables — at least in the beginning. If you can win everyone over with the good broth and beef in the soup early on, it is easier to change the ratio to more vegetables than meat over time.
I prefer using a stock pot to make this soup. It is the quickest method, although a little more hands-on.
However, you can also use an electric pressure cooker, such as an instant pot or Fagor multi-cooker.
Instructions for electric pressure cooker: Cook the hamburger on the brown setting. Add the rest of the ingredients. Secure the lid and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Release the pressure manually, or let it release naturally.
You can also use a slow cooker.
Instructions for slow cooker: Brown the hamburger in a skillet. Add the ground beef and the remaining ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours (or high 2 to 3 hours), or until vegetables are soft.
There are about 230 calories in a 1-cup serving of soup.
Absolutely. Place the soup in a freezer zip top bag or a freezer container. Freeze for up to 4 months.
When ready to eat, thaw the soup overnight. Heat over medium heat until hot.
I hope you have the same success with this soup as our family has had.
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ cup onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup potato (1 medium), chopped
- ½ cup carrots (1 medium), chopped
- ½ cup celery (1 stalk), chopped
- ½ cup green beans, chopped (fresh or frozen)
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced or crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- BROWN ground beef in a stock pot, breaking it up as it cooks until it is in crumbles.
- MINCE onion and garlic.
- SAUTE onion and garlic with ground beef.
- DRAIN excess fat from pot.
- WASH, PEEL, and CHOP potato and carrot.
- CHOP celery and green beans.
- ADD remaining vegetables, beef broth, crushed tomatoes and juice, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, and salt.
- BRING TO BOIL over medium heat.
- BOIL soup for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
- REMOVE FROM HEAT and stir to blend ingredients. Remove the bay leaf.
- TASTE and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- SERVE hot with a slice of fresh bread or a dinner roll.
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Serving Size1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 231Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 50mgSodium 603mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 19g
Nutrition information is an estimate only and may vary based on individual ingredients added and cooking methods used.
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- Pumpkin Soup: Blend fresh herbs and spices with pumpkin puree, coconut milk, red lentils, and apples in this seasonal soup, ready in 30 minutes.
- Turkey Soup: Use leftover turkey, along with potatoes, onions, leeks, celery, and fresh seasonal herbs for a true comfort food experience. Don’t have turkey? Substitute chicken instead.