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Sunday, December 29, 2013

[Canadian Hamburger Soup] A family favourite soup that warms up a cold winter day

Like most people, I also make chili, stew, and soup more often starting from late autumn til the end of winter. One of our recent favourite soups is hamburger soup.  

It's a very Canadian soup, so it is not surprising that you've never heard of this oddly-named soup. Please don't let the name of the soup fool you. You only need perfectly normal healthy ingredients to make this hearty aromatic soup. Considering that it's a soup, it's thicker than a soup but not quite a stew so that you can call it a stew-soup or stoup :) This is a great soup that warms you on a cold winter day. You can make a potful of this soup as this freezes very well, only if there's any leftover. I usually make it for a weekend lunch for four of us which is composed of two adults and two kids, after which I have just a right amount of leftover for the lunchboxes for Mr. D and me. :)

I find that the very two essential ingredients for the hamburger soup are celery and tomato sauce. These two vegetables develop a deep rich flavour while being cooked. You can pretty much alter other vegetables as you like.

You can see my other soup recipes as below:

Here goes the recipe.
(loosely adapted from Heart & Stroke Foundation recipe)

1 lb extra lean or lean ground beef
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes
5 cups low sodium beef broth
1 cup tomato sauce
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced or diced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced or diced
2 bay leaves
1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
3-4 springs of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup barley (pearl barley or pot barley) or 1/2 cup spaghetti, broken
salt, to taste


1. Have all the vegetables get ready.

2. In a large dutch oven, brown meat. When meat has lost its pink colour, drain off any excess fat if there is any visible. If you use extra lean beef, there shouldn't be too much fat to discard. Add onion and garlic.

3. Add all remaining ingredients, except for spinach and parsley. When soup starts to boil, turn heat down to low so soup is barely simmering, cover, and let cook for 50-60 minutes
* You may add barley or broken spaghetti later if you don't want very tender barley or spaghetti. It's up to your preference. However, in that case, be aware that these carbs tend to absorb more liquid when cool. I prefer over-cooked barley for this soup, so I always add with all the other ingredients. 

4. Taste soup and add salt if necessary. Add spinach and parsley. 

5. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve very hot!

Enjoy the warm sensation when you have a bowl of this hamburger soup!

Canadian Hamburger Soup


  1. Few things are more fitting than a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day :) Looks delicious!

    1. Very true. It actually tastes really good. Bonus~ it's easy to make! :)
      Why don't you make a pot of hamburger soup on a very cold day? :)