Hearty Beef and Tomato Winter Soup




  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onions
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)


  1. Brown the Ground Beef:
    • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Break it apart with a spoon as it cooks.
  2. Add Aromatics:
    • Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, carrots, and celery to the pot. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and the onions are translucent.
  3. Bell Peppers and Seasonings:
    • Stir in the chopped green and red bell peppers. Season with dried oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the peppers are slightly tender.
  4. Tomatoes and Sauce:
    • Pour in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes with garlic and onions. Stir well to combine. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  5. Add Beef Broth:
    • Pour in the beef broth and bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  6. Stir in Cooked Rice:
    • Add the cooked rice to the soup, stirring well to combine. Let it simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Adjust Seasoning:
    • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add more salt, pepper, or herbs according to your preference.
  8. Serve Hot:
    • Ladle the winter soup into bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot. Optionally, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
  9. Enjoy:
    • Serve this hearty Beef and Tomato Winter Soup with crusty bread for a satisfying and comforting winter meal.

This wholesome and flavorful winter soup is perfect for warming up on chilly days, combining the richness of beef with the comfort of tomatoes and a variety of vegetables.

Here are some tips to make your Hearty Beef and Tomato Winter Soup even more delightful:

  1. Beef Broth Choices:
    • Use a high-quality beef broth or make your own for a richer flavor. You can also opt for a low-sodium version and adjust the salt accordingly.
  2. Sauteed Vegetables:
    • Saute the vegetables in a bit of olive oil before adding them to the soup. This enhances their natural sweetness and adds depth to the overall flavor.
  3. Herb Infusion:
    • If you have fresh herbs, consider tying them together with kitchen twine and letting them simmer in the soup. Remove the herb bundle before serving.
  4. Tomato Variety:
    • Experiment with different varieties of diced tomatoes, such as fire-roasted or Italian-style, to add complexity to the soup.
  5. Splash of Wine:
    • Deglaze the pot with a splash of red wine after browning the beef for an extra layer of richness and depth of flavor.
  6. Umami Boost:
    • Enhance the umami flavor by adding a tablespoon of tomato paste to the sautéed vegetables before adding the liquids.
  7. Slow Cooker Method:
    • For added convenience, consider making this soup in a slow cooker. Allow it to simmer on low for several hours to let the flavors meld.
  8. Leafy Greens:
    • Stir in a handful of fresh spinach or kale during the last few minutes of cooking for a nutrient boost and vibrant color.
  9. Customize with Spices:
    • Customize the spice profile by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, or red pepper flakes for a subtle kick.
  10. Citrus Zest:
    • Just before serving, add a touch of fresh lemon or orange zest to brighten up the flavors.
  11. Grated Parmesan:
    • Serve the soup with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. The savory notes of Parmesan complement the richness of the beef and tomatoes.
  12. Fresh Herbs as Garnish:
    • Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or chives for a burst of freshness.
  13. Crusty Bread or Croutons:
    • Serve the soup with crusty bread on the side or top it with homemade croutons for added texture.
  14. Roasted Garlic:
    • Roast a few garlic cloves and add them to the soup for a mellow, sweet garlic flavor.
  15. Variety of Vegetables:
    • Experiment with different vegetables like zucchini, butternut squash, or green beans to add variety and color to the soup.

Remember, the key is to tailor the recipe to your taste preferences and enjoy the process of creating a delightful and comforting winter soup.

Achieving the perfect Hearty Beef and Tomato Winter Soup involves a combination of techniques and attention to detail. Here are some secrets to elevate your soup to perfection:

  1. Layered Flavors:
    • Build flavors by sautéing the vegetables first and then browning the beef. This step-by-step process enhances the depth of taste in your soup.
  2. Brown the Beef Well:
    • Take the time to properly brown the lean ground beef. This adds a rich, caramelized flavor to the meat and intensifies the overall taste of the soup.
  3. Slow-Cooking Magic:
    • If possible, let the soup simmer on low heat for an extended period. Slow-cooking allows the ingredients to meld, creating a more complex and flavorful broth.
  4. Tomato Sauce Enhancement:
    • Enhance the tomato sauce by adding a pinch of sugar or a grated carrot. This helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes and brings out their natural sweetness.
  5. Homemade Beef Broth:
    • If time allows, use homemade beef broth for a superior flavor. If using store-bought, opt for a high-quality, low-sodium version.
  6. Fresh Herbs at the End:
    • Add fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil, towards the end of the cooking time to preserve their brightness and aroma.
  7. Balance Acidity with Cream:
    • For a velvety touch, add a splash of heavy cream or a dollop of sour cream just before serving. This balances the acidity and adds a luxurious creaminess.
  8. Vegetable Variety:
    • Experiment with a variety of vegetables for added texture and flavor. Consider seasonal choices like sweet potatoes or winter squash.
  9. Customize Seasonings:
    • Customize the seasonings to your liking. Don’t be afraid to experiment with additional herbs, spices, or a dash of Worcestershire sauce for depth.
  10. Cheese Rind Trick:
    • Drop a Parmesan cheese rind into the simmering soup. This imparts a subtle umami flavor to the broth.
  11. Consistency Adjustments:
    • If the soup is too thick, add more beef broth. If it’s too thin, let it simmer uncovered for a bit longer to reduce and intensify the flavors.
  12. Use Aromatics:
    • Add aromatic vegetables like leeks, fennel, or celery to create a fragrant base for the soup.
  13. Finish with Olive Oil:
    • Just before serving, drizzle a high-quality extra virgin olive oil over each bowl. This adds a luscious and fruity undertone.
  14. Serve with a Side:
    • Pair the soup with a side of crusty bread, garlic bread, or croutons. The additional texture complements the heartiness of the soup.
  15. Allow Flavors to Meld Overnight:
    • If possible, let the soup sit in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving. This allows the flavors to fully meld and intensify.

By incorporating these secrets, you’ll be well on your way to creating a Hearty Beef and Tomato Winter Soup that is rich, flavorful, and perfect for warming up on cold days.

Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers related to Hearty Beef and Tomato Winter Soup:

Q1: Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef? A1: Yes, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for beef. Just note that the flavor and texture may vary slightly.

Q2: Can I make this soup vegetarian? A2: Absolutely! Simply omit the ground beef and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. You can also add extra vegetables like mushrooms or lentils for added protein.

Q3: How long does this soup last in the refrigerator? A3: This soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just make sure to cool it completely before refrigerating.

Q4: Can I freeze this soup? A4: Yes, this soup freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to freezer-safe containers or bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Q5: How can I make this soup thicker? A5: To thicken the soup, you can add additional cooked rice or pasta, or you can make a slurry by mixing equal parts cornstarch and cold water, then stirring it into the soup and simmering until thickened.

Q6: What can I serve with this soup? A6: This soup pairs well with crusty bread, garlic bread, or a simple green salad. You can also sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top for extra flavor.

Q7: Can I make this soup in a slow cooker? A7: Yes, you can easily adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Brown the ground beef and sauté the vegetables as directed, then transfer everything to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Q8: Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned? A8: Yes, you can substitute fresh tomatoes for canned. Simply chop them and use them in place of the canned diced tomatoes. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly.

Q9: How can I make this soup spicier? A9: To add some heat to the soup, you can stir in some crushed red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce. You can also add some diced jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Q10: Can I make this soup ahead of time? A10: Yes, this soup actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld. You can make it ahead of time and reheat it when ready to serve.

These answers should address some common questions about making Hearty Beef and Tomato Winter Soup. Feel free to customize the recipe to suit your preferences!