Hamburger Soup: Hearty, Seasonal, GAPS Friendly

There’s something about the heartiness of this soup that makes it feel like such nourishing comfort food to me. Packed with seasonal winter veggies (onions, carrots, turnips, celeriac) and grass-fed beef, this is a meal that truly satisfies, even without grains on the side.

Quite sadly, soup lovers do not inhabit our home (other than my lone self). It takes real creativity on my part to come up with soups that I can serve more than once without hearing, “We’re having soup again?”. This soup went over particularly well, though, with emptied bowls and sweet utterances of “you can make this one again, Mommy”.

Another perk of this particular soup is that it is completely GAPS friendly. Even on the Intro diet, as soon as you’re past blended soups, this one could fit into your repertoire. (Three cheers for variety!)

I had been inspired by this version of Hamburger soup, as well as the one in Simple Food {for winter}, but neither was exactly what I wanted so I came up with this version that suited our dietary restrictions and what I had in the house just right.

Hamburger Soup
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 4-6
  • 1½ lbs beef (grass-fed is best, and you could also sneak a bit of ground liver into this pretty easily)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced turnip (I like mine on the smaller side)
  • 1 cup chopped celeriac (you could substitute celery if not on the GAPS Intro)
  • 6 cups beef bone broth (leftover roast drippings are good to add, too)
  • ⅓ cup red lentils (optional and not legal for GAPS Intro)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (you could also substitute diced tomatoes, but the paste adds a nice thickness to the broth)
  • 1½ tsp salt (depending how salty your broth is or simply to taste)
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 3-4 garlic cloves OR 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp each- oregano, thyme, parsley
  1. Starting with a Tbsp or two of butter or beef tallow, fry the onions and ground beef in the bottom of a large pot.
  2. Add all chopped veggies, and saute for a few minutes.
  3. Add broth, tomato paste (or tomatoes), and lentils (if using). Bring to a boil, turn burner to low-med and let simmer for 30 min with the lid on.
  4. Add seasonings, taste and adjust.


If your family eats dairy, this is also very nice with shredded cheese on top.

It freezes well and you could easily double the recipe (you’d need a large stock pot) to serve for dinner one night and put an extra meal away for another night.

Looking for more GAPS recipes and resources?

Cara from Healthy, Home & Happiness has several amazingly helpful resources for those on GAPS:

  • 30 Days on the GAPS Introduction Diet- What Can I Eat Now? This is an essential guide to helping you get started and get through the chalenging early days and weeks of the intro diet!
  • Grain Free Meal Plans Freezer Cooking Guide. Prepping meals and meal components ahead of time is a HUGE sanity and time saver when you’re doing gaps, and this ebook guides you through the process of stocking your freezer to make life on GAPS easier.
  • Grain-Free Meal Plans. Do you prefer to just let someone else do the thinking and planning for you, and follow along a pre-made menu plan? Then you’ll definitely want to check these GAPS-friendly plans out.

What are your favorite seasonal, comfort foods for winter?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. This soup is a life-saver.
    We just started the GAPS diet and i’m forever wondering what to feed my family [other than eggs and pancakes]
    Made this last night.
    Family happy. Mama very happy.
    Many thanks!

  2. Thanks for this recipe. We made it tonight with the addition of chopped cabbage (no turnip) and an extra can of crushed tomatoes. My two year old liked it!

  3. Love this soup, thanks for the recipe!

  4. This is SUPER good and I have a family that is very picky about soups! Thanks for sharing – I am making a big batch in prep for our GAPS transition…

  5. Well, I am not doing, nor had I ever heard of, the GAPS diet, but when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it – and it’s delicious! I’ve made it twice now, and my whole family loves it. First time around I only used 1 lb ground beef, and didn’t have turnips, so doubled the carrots. Today I made it exactly, execpt that I realized I bought parsnips instead of turnips. I will definitely be making it with the extra ground beef and parsnips/turnips in future. Thanks for an excellently hearty, healthy soup!

  6. park yi says:

    I thought tomato paste was illegal (at least it is on SCD diet)
    any thoughts on this?

    • @park yi, On GAPS, tomato puree (without any additives) is allowed. It may be illegal on SCD, I’m not sure about that. Just substitute diced tomatoes instead and you may want to use a little less broth or simmer for slightly longer for a thicker soup texture.

  7. I’ve made this soup two times in the last two days. I originally made it for my husband and I to eat over the next couple of meals while we’re at my parent’s house, but as my family smelled it cooking they couldn’t help but make requests to have some for dinner as well. By the end of the night it was all gone! Everyone loved it, including my processed-food loving parents. Needless to say I made another batch the next day with the leftover veggies and beef so that we could eat it like I had planned. Wonderful recipe! Thank you for sharing it, Stephanie :)

  8. Wow, I am amazed!! I never heard of Hamburger Soup before. I will have to try it. I did notice that you used grass fed beef. I work with La Cense Beef, and if you are looking for a place to buy grass fed beef online you should check out the website. I really like ordering online because the meat is so fresh.

  9. I used this as a guideline for last night’s soup. I had actually set a few cups of lentils to soak in raw cider vinegar that morning. I cooked 2 lbs ground beef, an onion, two carrots, two turnips (great idea!), and two two zucchini. I added them to to the soaked lentils, one large can of crushed tomatoes and one can of diced tomatoes and chilis. I added as much homemade broth as I add, water, garlic, real salt, and some simply organic all-purpose seasoning. Everyone loved the soup! Thanks for the inspiration. One of the things I love about soup is how easy they are to adapt to what you have in your kitchen!!

  10. This sounds good. Thanks for sharing! We split a whole Angus beef every year and I always have a freezer brimming with ground beef, so I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to use it. What about some homemade cornbread on the side? I found and finally made this recipe from Penzey’s Spices last week. So good! Easy, and the only recipe I’ve ever found with all cornmeal and no refined flour. Fabulously good. And made with all nourishing foods!

    1 1/2 cups cornmeal
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp sugar (I used rapadura)
    2 tbsp butter
    1 lg egg, lightly beaten
    1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk

    preheat oven to 450 degrees. mix cornmeal, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. place butter in skillet and heat in oven until butter bubbles. add egg to dry ingredients then pour in buttermilk. whisk with fork. remove skillet from oven and pour batter on top of sizzling butter. return to oven and bake ’til golden on top 15 to 20 minutes.

  11. Are these pre-cooked canned lentils, or dried lentils that you soaked overnight, or just dried lentils? 30 minutes cooking time seems short for dried lentils, so I wanted to check. This looks so tasty – I am adding it to my file!

    • @Robin, It works with either dried lentils (I find 30 minutes enough for red lentils, though it wouldn’t be enough for the thicker brown/green lentils), or also with soaked lentils (though you might want to decrease the broth just slightly if they’re already soaked).

  12. This recipe looks good.
    I have a question though. Have you ever been able to find an acceptable substitute for BPA lined tomato paste cans? I’ve tried many things but haven’t found any brands that are free of it, and making my own takes FOREVER and isn’t all that cost effective. So far its just one of those things around here that I have to let go…but wondering if you’ve found something I haven’t.

    • @Nola, Nope, I haven’t. It’s one of the few canned items that I just continue to use. There are some brands you can find that come in tubes or even in jars, but they’re rare (usually Italian brands). I do believe that the ones made by Eden Foods are BPA-free but those aren’t readily available (or affordable) for me, so I don’t use them.

    • Muir Glen is BPA free, and our Walmart carries their organic tomato paste {much as I hate to shop there}.

  13. I was just wondering what to have for dinner & this sounds so good! I am off to make some. (-: I hope that you and your family are doing well!

  14. Woo hoo! I can’t wait to make this. I think everyone will love it.

  15. I just made the same soup. When I saw MSM recipe I thought it would be great for the GAPS Diet. My husband was hesitant at first, but when he tasted it he loved it! My kids also loved it and had a few servings each.
    Thanks for the GAPS posts. I am trying to get my kids on it, but they are very reluctant, so I will just sneak a bit in here and there until they are doing it as it should be done!

  16. Looks great. Thanks

  17. Ooh, this looks yummy–I just made a Cheeseburger Soup last week, but I might have to try this one this week. How sad that you are the only soup-lover in your house!! My condolences. :)


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