Cooking a batch of Hamburger Soup Crock Pot-style should be highly rewarding as it is easy to prepare. Plenty of recipes to try in a crock pot, yet this is a classic American soup and should become a firm family favorite.
Like most crock pot recipes involving meat, you must first brown off the ground beef with some onion and a few seasonings. The bulk of the recipe comes later with bags of frozen mixed diced vegetables and cans of Tomato Basil soup (Also check out The Best Grilled Cheese And Tomato Soup Recipe).
You can still switch up the recipe with some simple ingredient substitutes, yet make sure the proportions remain the same. After that, put the lid on and let the crock pot work its magic.
Like any hamburger recipe, you may want to add some bread rolls, yet these will be for dipping in the delicious sauce. You can add some shredded cheese, just as you would a cheeseburger.
What Is Instant Pot Hamburger Soup?
The thought of Hamburger Soup may be an alien concept to many, yet it does come with the flavor of a hamburger. There’s still the key ingredient: ground beef, though it is a purely viscous dish.
Most of the soup is another soup (Tomato Basil) and frozen mixed vegetables. With a versatile base, you should be looking at changing up this recipe, and there are several ways of doing so in a classic American soup recipe.
History Of Instant Pot Hamburger Soup
The history of Instant Pot Hamburger Soup is an intertwining tale of culinary traditions and modern convenience. The soup’s roots lie in the humble, warming meals common to American households, with variations of hamburger soup being a staple on many dinner tables for decades.
It’s an ode to resourcefulness, using readily available ingredients – ground beef, vegetables, and broth. The introduction of the Instant Pot, a revolutionary Canadian invention from 2010, breathed new life into this classic dish.
The Instant Pot’s pressure cooking feature reduced cooking time dramatically, making the beloved Hamburger Soup more accessible to busy families and modern kitchens.
Interesting Facts About The Instant Pot Hamburger Soup
- Quick and Nutritious: Instant Pot Hamburger Soup comes together in less than an hour, offering a nutritious meal brimming with protein from the ground beef and many vitamins from the vegetables.
- Versatile: This soup welcomes variation. You can substitute ground beef with turkey or add vegetables like sweet corn or green beans, tailoring it to your preferences or dietary needs.
- Family-Friendly: Its simple yet hearty flavors make it a hit among children and adults. Plus, it’s an ideal way to sneak in vegetables for picky eaters.
- Leftovers Shine: Hamburger Soup tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. It’s an excellent choice for meal prepping.
- Cost-Effective: Hamburger Soup is a budget-friendly meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor, proving that you can create gastronomic delights without breaking the bank.
- Instant Pot’s Magic: The Instant Pot’s pressure cooking technology locks in flavors and nutrients, ensuring the soup’s taste and nutritional value are maximized.
What Makes The Instant Pot Hamburger Soup Special?
- One-Pot Wonder: The Instant Pot Hamburger Soup is an all-in-one meal combining protein, vegetables, and a fulfilling broth, simplifying meal prep and cleanup.
- Time-Saver: Thanks to the Instant Pot’s efficient pressure cooking technology, you can have a wholesome meal on your table in less than an hour, including prep time.
- Flavorful: Despite its simple ingredients, the soup boasts a rich, layered flavor profile, becoming a comforting, satisfying dish.
- Versatility: You can easily modify the soup based on dietary needs or personal preferences, swapping different proteins or vegetables.
- Nutrient-Rich: This soup contains nutrients from its ingredients, offering a well-rounded, healthy meal.
- Perfect for Leftovers: The flavors deepen and meld together even more overnight, making the leftovers a delicious next-day meal.
- Budget-Friendly: Using simple, cost-effective ingredients, this soup proves that eating well doesn’t require expensive items.
|Ground beef||2 pounds|
|Small sweet yellow onion||Diced|
|Ground black pepper||½ teaspoon|
|Italian seasoning||2 teaspoons|
|Onion powder||1 teaspoon|
|Waxy potatoes or sweet potatoes||3 chopped|
|Mixed diced frozen vegetables||20 ounces|
|Tomato Basil Soup (19oz cans)||2 cans|
Ingredients Needed For The Recipe
- There is a lot of difference between making a batch of Hamburger Soup and creating a batch of delicious hamburgers. However, both recipes will use ground beef, yellow onion, salt, and pepper.
- The liquid ingredients are crucial here as the Tomato Basil Soup will bring a lot of flavor, as will the Italian seasoning. Feel free to mix up your choice of diced vegetables, as you can use whatever you fancy as long as the pieces are small enough.
- While two pounds of ground beef may seem excessive, you will need all of it for that tasty, meaty richness. It is also advisable to use lean ground beef to ensure the eventual soup has a reduced grease content.
- The tomato base flavor comes wholly from the cans of Tomato Basil soup, though you may want to use canned diced tomatoes instead if you cannot source the soup. That cup of water is also vital to ensure the consistency remains soup-like.
- Finally, much of the flavor will come from the powders and the Italian seasoning. You can also use different dried herbs like oregano.
- Ground Beef: Choose lean ground beef for a healthier option. You could also substitute it with ground turkey or chicken.
- Diced Onion: While optional, onions add a depth of flavor. Yellow or white onions are preferred for their robust taste.
- Carrots and Celery: Fresh vegetables are ideal. However, frozen can work in a pinch.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic provides the best flavor, but you can substitute with 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder per clove if necessary.
- Chicken Broth: Opt for low-sodium broth to control the salt content. You can also use vegetable broth for a vegetarian variant.
- Crushed Tomatoes: For a chunkier texture, consider diced tomatoes. Alternatively, use tomato sauce for a smoother consistency.
- Worcestershire and Hot Pepper Sauce: Adjust the quantity to suit your preference.
- Stick Margarine: Unsalted butter can be used as a replacement for a richer flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour: This helps thicken the soup. For a gluten-free option, try cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend.
Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?
Like any good recipe, there are plenty of variations to create your twist. For Hamburger Soup, that includes the potatoes, the liquid, the meat, and the vegetables.
Use Different Potatoes
- One of the simplest recipe variations for Hamburger Soup means changing up the potatoes. You can use Yukon Gold potatoes or Russet potatoes as the texture works in the soup.
- Consider using sweet potatoes, but make sure whichever potatoes you use are cut into half-inch cubes to ensure they are evenly cooked.
Your Liquid Of Choice
- Use beef broth instead of water to create a deeper flavor in the soup. For even more flavor, add a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
Change Up The Meat
- Though you should be expected to use ground beef in a recipe for Hamburger Soup, that does not have to be the case. You can switch the ground beef to ground chicken, turkey, or any ground meat you desire.
- You can use beef chuck instead of ground meat to create a thicker, more substantial soup.
- To create a more flavorful stew rather than a soup, you can use beef chuck and also throw in a can of diced tomatoes. Consider the consistency of the soup and the flavors by choosing either tomato sauce or fire-roasted tomatoes.
Use Different Vegetables
- The vegetables that you select can also be changed to create different textures. Frozen peas may be a staple ingredient in your freezer and can be used here.
- Green beans, bell pepper, and chopped celery stalks are good options.
- Heat some oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the beef stew meat and sauté until the meat is browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the diced onion, sliced carrots, celery, and minced garlic to the saucepan with the beef. Continue to sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and aromatic.
- Pour the beef broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce into the saucepan. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once the soup reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the beef to become tender.
- While the soup is simmering, prepare the roux in another pan. Melt the margarine or butter over medium heat. Gradually add the all-purpose flour to the melted margarine, stirring constantly to form a smooth paste.
- Cook the roux, stirring constantly, until it turns golden brown and emits a nutty aroma. This should take about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
- Once the roux is ready, slowly ladle a small amount of the hot soup broth into the pan with the roux, whisking vigorously to avoid lumps. Gradually add more soup broth and whisk until the roux mixture is well incorporated.
- Pour the roux mixture back into the large saucepan with the simmering soup. Stir well to combine and thicken the soup. Cover the saucepan again and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Serve the hearty beef and vegetable soup hot, garnished with some fresh chopped parsley if desired. Enjoy this delicious and comforting meal with some crusty bread or crackers on the side.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
- Swap ground beef for ground turkey or chicken for a lighter alternative.
- For a vegetarian version, replace the beef with lentils or a meat substitute.
- Go spicy by adding a dash of cayenne pepper or chopped jalapeños.
- For added texture and sweetness, stir in some frozen corn or green peas in the last few minutes of cooking.
- Increase the soup’s heartiness by adding diced potatoes or cooked rice.
- Make it creamy by stirring in a heavy cream or coconut milk splash before serving.
- Sprinkle grated cheese like cheddar or parmesan on the hot soup, letting it melt for a creamy finish.
- Add a dollop of sour cream for a tangy twist.
- Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or chives to brighten the flavors.
- Serve with crusty bread or oyster crackers for an enjoyable crunch.
- A few drops of hot sauce on top can provide an extra kick for spice lovers.
Scaling The Recipe
Scaling a soup recipe like the Instant Pot Hamburger Soup is straightforward.
- You can easily double or triple the ingredients serving a larger crowd. However, be mindful of your Instant Pot’s capacity – it should never be filled more than two-thirds. Also, when increasing the quantity, you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to ensure everything is cooked through.
- If you’re cooking for fewer people, you can halve the ingredients. The cooking time should generally remain the same as the original recipe.
What Is Used For Garnishing?
There are various options for garnishing Instant Pot Hamburger Soup, depending on your personal preference:
- Fresh Herbs: Chopped fresh parsley, chives, or cilantro can add color and new flavor to the soup.
- Cheese: Shredded cheese like cheddar or parmesan can be sprinkled on top for a creamy, savory touch.
- Croutons or Breadcrumbs: A sprinkle of homemade croutons or breadcrumbs can add a delightful crunch and toasty flavor.
- Sour Cream or Yogurt: A dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt can add a tangy, creamy finish.
- Green Onions or Chives: Finely sliced green onions or chives can provide a slight bite and vibrant color.
Can I Make Instant Pot Hamburger Soup In A Slow Cooker?
You can undoubtedly make Instant Pot Hamburger Soup in a slow cooker. The steps will be slightly adjusted:
- Start by browning your ground beef, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender. This step is necessary because slow cookers do not have a sauté function.
- Drain excess fat, then transfer the cooked mixture to your slow cooker.
- Add the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, crushed tomatoes, and hot pepper sauce into the slow cooker, stirring well to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- About 30 minutes before the soup is done, melt your margarine in a pan over medium-low heat, stir in the flour, and cook until golden brown to create a roux. Gradually stir this into your soup to thicken it.
- Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until the soup has thickened to your liking.
- Adjust the seasoning as needed, then serve hot with your preferred garnishes.
Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?
Depending on your time, resources, and personal preference, either option can work well.
- It is a convenient and time-saving option. It’s readily available and comes in various types, such as chicken, beef, vegetable, and bone broth.
- When selecting store-bought broth, opt for low-sodium versions whenever possible. It gives you more control over your soup’s salt content.
- Making your broth allows for the customization of flavors and the ability to control the ingredients, which is especially beneficial if you’re watching your intake of sodium, preservatives, or other additives.
- Homemade broth typically has a fresher, richer taste, and you can make it in large batches to freeze for future use. However, it does require more time and effort.
Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?
Instant Pot Hamburger Soup is quite versatile and can be modified with various ingredients based on your preference:
- Meat: While the classic recipe uses ground beef, you can substitute it with ground turkey, chicken, or pork for a different flavor profile. Consider using Italian sausage for a spicy kick.
- Fish: While less traditional, a firm fish like salmon or cod could be used. However, you should add it towards the end of the cooking process to prevent it from overcooking and breaking apart.
- Pasta: Adding pasta can make the soup even heartier. Small types of pasta such as macaroni, ditalini, or shells work best. Adjust the cooking time to prevent the pasta from becoming too soft.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add or substitute different vegetables based on what you have on hand or your personal preferences. Some good options include bell peppers, zucchini, peas, green beans, or even spinach. Be mindful of the cooking times, as some vegetables cook faster than others.
Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup
Making soup is an art with many nuances. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you create flavorful, comforting soup every time:
- Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh ingredients whenever possible for maximum flavor. It is essential for vegetables and herbs.
- Cut Consistently: Chop your vegetables in uniform sizes to ensure they cook evenly.
- Prepare Ingredients: Having all your ingredients prepped and ready to go can make the cooking process smoother and more enjoyable.
Cooking Time Tips
- Sauté Vegetables: Sautéing vegetables before adding liquid can deepen the soup’s flavor.
- Deglaze the Pan: After sautéing, deglaze the pot with broth or wine to lift any browned bits off the bottom. It is called ‘fond,’ and it’s packed with flavor.
- Layer Flavors: Add ingredients in stages to build layers of flavor. Start with aromatics (like onions, garlic, and herbs), add the main ingredients, and finally, the liquid.
- Season Gradually: Season your soup little by little as it cooks, rather than adding a lot of salt and spices all at once. It allows you to adjust the flavor as you go.
- Low and Slow: Allow your soup to cook on low heat for longer. This slow cooking process helps the flavors meld together more effectively.
- Mind the Volume: Don’t overfill your pot. Not only can it cause the soup to spill, but it can also increase the cooking time and decrease the temperature, leading to uneven cooking.
- Finishing Touches: Finish your soup with fresh herbs or a squeeze of citrus to brighten the flavors. A dollop of cream or yogurt can add a touch of richness and help balance out the flavors.
Dive into the nutritional prowess of Instant Pot Hamburger Soup, a well-rounded meal brimming with essential nutrients. Each serving delivers an impressive dose of protein from ground beef, fiber from hearty vegetables, and essential vitamins and minerals. It’s not just a meal; it’s a wholesome experience in a bowl.
What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?
With the specific quantities of each ingredient, it’s easier to provide an exact calorie count for the Instant Pot Hamburger Soup. However, on average, a serving of hamburger soup made with lean ground beef, a variety of vegetables, and broth typically contains around 200-300 calories.
It can vary based on any additional ingredients or substitutions. For accurate nutritional information, consider using a recipe nutrition calculator to calculate the details based on the exact ingredients and quantities used.
Dietary Restrictions Of The Instant Pot Hamburger Soup
The Instant Pot Hamburger Soup, as traditionally prepared, may not be suitable for specific dietary restrictions:
- Vegetarian/Vegan: The soup contains ground beef and possibly chicken broth, which are unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans. However, it can be modified using plant-based meat substitutes, legumes, and vegetable broth.
- Gluten-Free: The all-purpose flour used to thicken the soup contains gluten. You can use gluten-free flour or cornstarch as a thickening agent instead.
- Dairy-Free: If margarine-containing milk is used, it wouldn’t be suitable for a dairy-free diet. Replace it with dairy-free margarine or oil.
- Low-Sodium: The canned broth and Worcestershire sauce can be high in sodium. Opt for low-sodium versions to accommodate this diet.
- Keto/Paleo: The soup contains flour and possibly some non-compliant vegetables, which wouldn’t work for a keto or paleo diet. Replace the flour with a keto-friendly thickener and adjust the vegetables.
Health Benefits Of The Instant Pot Hamburger Soup
Instant Pot Hamburger Soup offers a multitude of health benefits, owing to the variety of wholesome ingredients it contains:
- High in Protein: The ground beef in this soup is a fantastic source of protein, necessary for building and repairing tissues in the body.
- Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: The assortment of vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery provides a range of essential vitamins and minerals, contributing to overall health and well-being.
- Fiber-Rich: The vegetables also provide dietary fiber, which aids digestion, helps maintain a healthy weight, and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- Low in Calories: Despite its hearty nature, this soup is relatively low in calories, making it a good choice for those watching their caloric intake.
- Hydrating: As with any soup, it contributes to daily hydration needs, which is crucial for every bodily function.
- Versatile: The recipe can be easily modified to suit various dietary needs, increasing its health benefits according to your specific requirements.
How Can I Make Instant Pot Hamburger Soup Lower In Sodium?
Reducing the sodium content in your Instant Pot Hamburger Soup can be achieved with a few simple adjustments:
- Broth: Opt for a low-sodium or no-sodium broth. It is one of the primary sources of sodium in the soup, so choosing a lower-sodium version can significantly decrease the overall sodium content.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This sauce can contain quite a bit of sodium. You can look for a reduced-sodium version or reduce the amount you use in the recipe.
- Canned Tomatoes: If using canned crushed tomatoes, choose a no-salt-added version if available.
- Seasoning: Be mindful of the salt you add during cooking. Remember, you can always add more at the end if necessary, but you can’t remove it once it’s added.
- Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh vegetables instead of canned ones, which often contain added sodium.
How Can I Make The Soup Lower In Sugar?
The Instant Pot Hamburger Soup is generally low in sugar as it contains no inherently sweet ingredients. However, if you’re following a strict low-sugar diet, here are some suggestions:
- Watch for Hidden Sugars: Check the labels on store-bought broths, canned tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce, as they may contain added sugars. Choose no-sugar-added or low-sugar versions whenever possible.
- Control the Carbs: While not direct sugars, carbohydrates can affect blood sugar levels. To lower the carb content, you can reduce the amount of carrots or replace them with lower-carb vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini.
- Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh vegetables are usually lower in sugar than canned versions, which sometimes have sugar added.
How To Serve The Soup At Its Best?
Treat a batch of Hamburger Soup just like you would any other soup. Have a chopped-up baguette handy to soak up any of that delicious sauce.
The soup also goes well with cornbread, garlic bread, crusty bread, or buttered-up dinner rolls. You can even serve the soup plainly as it is by pouring ladles of it into bowls.
Once the Hamburger Soup has finished cooking in the crock pot, you can add different textures and flavors. That could include oyster crackers, crushed crackers, or chopped green onions for some color.
As this is a Hamburger Soup, you can expect some shredded cheese as this will melt nicely. A dollop or two of sour cream, as does a sprinkling of Italian seasoning or dried oregano, also works well.
Perfect Side Dishes To Complement The Soup Recipe
Instant Pot Hamburger Soup’s hearty and robust flavors pair well with various side dishes. Here are a few suggestions:
- Crusty Bread: A slice of fresh, crusty bread or a warm bread roll is perfect for dipping into the rich broth.
- Green Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can provide a crisp, refreshing counterpoint to the soup.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A classic comfort food pairing, the creamy, melted cheese contrasts beautifully with the hearty soup.
- Roasted Vegetables: Lightly seasoned, oven-roasted vegetables can complement the soup while maintaining the healthy, wholesome theme.
- Baked Potato: A side of plain baked potato or a loaded baked potato can add a satisfying, starchy component to the meal.
- Coleslaw: The incredible, tangy flavors of coleslaw contrast with the warm, hearty soup.
How Long Can We Store The Soup?
Instant Pot Hamburger Soup stores reasonably well. It makes an excellent option for meal prep or leftovers.
- Refrigerator: After cooking, let the soup cool down to room temperature. Then, please place it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It will keep well for about 3-4 days.
- Freezer: If you want to hold the soup longer, you can freeze it. In a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, the soup can last for up to 3 months.
Can I Make The Soup In Advance?
Instant Pot Hamburger Soup is an excellent dish to make in advance. The flavors can often deepen and meld together even more when it’s made a day ahead, improving the overall taste.
Once the soup is cooked, allow it to cool down, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before serving, reheat it on the stove or in the microwave until it’s hot throughout.
If the soup becomes too thick after storing, add extra broth or water during reheating to achieve the desired consistency.
What Can We Do With Leftovers?
Transforming your Instant Pot Hamburger Soup leftovers into new meals can add variety and save time. Here are some creative ways to repurpose this delicious soup:
- Stuffed Bell Peppers: Use the soup as a filling for bell peppers. Top with cheese and bake until the peppers are tender and the cheese is bubbly.
- Pasta Sauce: Reduce the soup on the stove until it’s thickened, then toss with cooked pasta for a quick and satisfying meal.
- Shepherd’s Pie Filling: Use the soup as a pie base. Just top with mashed potatoes and bake until golden.
- Taco or Burrito Filling: Use the thickened soup as a protein-packed filling for tacos or burritos.
- Rice Topper: Serve the heated soup over a bed of cooked rice for a different spin in a rice bowl.
- Baked Potato Filling: Use the soup as a hearty filling for baked potatoes, adding a touch of sour cream and chives for extra flavor.
Special Tools/Equipment Needed
Cooking Instant Pot Hamburger Soup requires very minimal and essential kitchen tools:
- Instant Pot: The most crucial tool, the Instant Pot pressure cooker, simplifies the process, reducing the cooking time significantly.
- Knife and Cutting Board: These are needed for chopping the vegetables and mincing the garlic.
- Wooden Spoon: This is handy for stirring the ingredients while sautéing and combining all ingredients in the pot.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: To measure your ingredients accurately, ensure the flavors in the recipe are balanced.
- Ladle: For serving the soup in individual bowls.
- Saucepan: You’ll need this for creating the roux separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Make This Soup With Frozen Vegetables?
Absolutely. Frozen vegetables can be a great time-saver. Add them into the Instant Pot as you would with fresh ones. The pressure cooking process will ensure they’re thoroughly cooked.
What If I Don’t Have An Instant Pot? Can I Still Make This Soup?
You can use a regular stovetop pot or even a slow cooker. The process remains the same, though cooking times will vary. Stovetop cooking will take longer, while a slow cooker will take several hours.
The Soup Is Thick. How Can I Thin It Out?
If the soup is thick, you can add more broth or water to it. Till it reaches the required consistency, stir it slowly after each addition of broth to blend the liquid evenly.
How To Store Leftover Hamburger Soup?
You can create a large batch of Hamburger Soup by doubling the ingredients. Should you have any leftovers, then they are quite easy to store.
Leave the batch to cool down and then ladle it in portions into individual airtight containers or freezer-safe Ziploc bags to keep in the freezer for three months.
It can be kept in the refrigerator for a full week, and you only need to reheat it on the stovetop on a medium-low heat.
Why Should You Drain Excess Fat After Browning It In Hamburger Soup?
You should use lean ground beef in this Hamburger Soup recipe. The excess fat does need to be drained to reduce the fat content.
The fat can also give the soup a greasy texture, which is not very nice when eaten. Also, if you have any leftover Hamburger Soup, the excess fat can solidify, which could be more appealing.
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