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5 from 1 vote

Hearty Hamburger Soup

This easy Hearty Hamburger Soup - filled with ground beef, barley, and tons of veggies in a tomato-beef broth - is a delicious and satisfying complete meal in a bowl!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dinner, lunch, Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, 90% lean or higher
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 teaspoons roasted beef base, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cups sliced carrots, ⅛ inch thick, I do a half-moon shape (cut the carrot in half lengthwise and then slice)
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage, about 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed red, white or Yukon Gold potatoes, about ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup medium barley, not quick barley
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • In an 8-quart stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper (I use 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, but season to your own taste). Cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink and lightly browned. Drain off any excess grease.
  • Add the water, roasted beef base, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and parsley; stir to combine.
  • Add the celery, carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms and cabbage.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • After the 20 minutes, add the potatoes and barley. Continue simmering, covered, for an additional 70 minutes until the vegetables and barley are tender.
  • Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.

Recipe Notes

  • You could use 5 teaspoons powdered beef base or 5 beef bouillon cubes in place of the roasted beef base - or you could just use 10 cups of beef broth in place of the water and beef base.
  • For the barley, I use regular medium barley (not quick barley) because I think it has a better texture. If you only have quick barley, be sure to add it later on in the cooking time (check your package for the time needed) because it cooks much faster.
  • To freeze: once cooled completely, place in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags and use within 2 to 3 months (just thaw and reheat, and add some extra beef broth if needed).