Basic Crock Pot Hamburger Soup

hamburger soup with macaroni
Christine Knox Pedretti / FOAP / Getty
  • 7 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 7 hrs
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Ratings (4)

A hearty mixture of ground beef and vegetables makes an incredibly delicious soup. The soup gets its fabulous flavor from Italian herbs, onion soup mix, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese. With the addition of cooked pasta, the result is similar to minestrone. 

This soup is an excellent starting point, and there are lots of other vegetables you might add. Some possibilities include whole kernel corn, diced rutabaga or parsnips, drained canned navy beans or great northern beans, and mushrooms. Or add frozen, more tender vegetables about 30 to 45 minutes before serving (e.g., English peas, cut green beans, mixed vegetables). If you don't have macaroni, use ditalini or small shells in the soup. For a lighter soup (or if you are trying to avoid red meat) consider using ground turkey or chicken thighs in the soup.  

One reader suggested the addition of a few cloves of minced garlic and a 14.5-ounce can of diced Italian-style tomatoes for extra flavor and liquid.  And one person suggested adding an extra cup or two of beef stock or water. The soup freezes well, too. Make a double batch and freeze half of it for a future meal.

The original recipe called for raw ground beef, but this updated version includes pre-browning. It's always best to brown ground beef before adding it to the slow cooker. Not only does browning add more flavor -- the color and texture of are much improved. If you like onions, cook a medium chopped onion in the skillet with the ground beef. See the tips below the recipe for stovetop directions.

Serve this tasty soup with freshly baked biscuits or cornbread. For a hearty lunch or dinner, serve it with sandwiches or a tossed salad. 

Similar soups include this crock pot taco soup, this ground beef soup with potatoes, and this delicious soup with cabbage, corn, and tomatoes.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 (1 oz) envelope onion soup mix
  • 3 cups boiling water (or unsalted beef stock)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube or beef flavor granules (omit if you use beef stock)
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup macaroni (uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

How to Make It

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble the ground beef into the skillet and cook until no longer pink, stirring constantly. Drain the beef and transfer it to the crock pot.
  2. Add the black pepper, oregano, basil, seasoned salt, and onion soup mix.
  3. Stir in water, bouillon, tomato sauce and soy sauce; then add celery and carrots.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. About 30 minutes before the soup is done, cook the macaroni following the package directions. Drain well.
  1. Turn the crock pot to HIGH and add cooked macaroni and Parmesan cheese.
  2. Cover and cook on HIGH for about 10 minutes longer.

Tips

  • To cook the soup on the stovetop, brown the ground beef in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the remaining ingredients, except macaroni, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour. Cook the macaroni and add it to the soup along with the Parmesan cheese. Heat through.