Quick and Easy Busy Day Soup


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • Mixed frozen vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, green beans), about 2 cups
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup macaroni, uncooked
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Brown the Ground Beef:
    • In a large soup pot over medium heat, brown the ground beef until fully cooked. Break it into crumbles as it cooks.
  2. Add Onion Soup Mix:
    • Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the browned beef, stirring well to combine. Allow it to cook for a couple of minutes to absorb the flavors.
  3. Pour in Water and Tomatoes:
    • Pour in 6 cups of water into the pot, followed by the diced tomatoes with their juice. Stir the mixture well.
  4. Simmer:
    • Bring the soup to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Let it simmer for approximately 1 hour, allowing the flavors to meld. Stir occasionally.
  5. Add Macaroni and Vegetables:
    • After the soup has simmered, add the uncooked macaroni and mixed frozen vegetables to the pot. Stir to combine.
  6. Continue Cooking:
    • Continue cooking the soup over medium heat until the macaroni is tender and the vegetables are cooked through. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Season to Taste:
    • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  8. Garnish and Serve:
    • If desired, garnish the soup with fresh parsley before serving.
  9. Enjoy:
    • Ladle the Busy Day Soup into bowls and enjoy your quick and satisfying meal!

Optional Tips:

  • For added depth of flavor, you can use beef or vegetable broth instead of water.
  • Feel free to customize the soup with additional herbs and spices, such as thyme, bay leaves, or garlic powder.
  • If you prefer a heartier soup, you can add more macaroni or additional protein like beans.

This Busy Day Soup is a simple and delicious option for those hectic days when you need a comforting meal without a lot of fuss. Enjoy!

Here are some helpful tips to make your Quick and Easy Busy Day Soup even more delightful:

  1. Use Quality Ground Beef:
    • Opt for lean ground beef for a healthier soup. You can also use ground turkey or a mix of ground meats for variation.
  2. Homemade Onion Soup Mix:
    • Create your own onion soup mix using a blend of dried onions, beef bouillon, onion powder, garlic powder, and a touch of salt. This allows you to control the flavors and reduce sodium content.
  3. Add Fresh Herbs:
    • Enhance the flavor by adding fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley. Fresh herbs add a burst of brightness to the soup.
  4. Experiment with Vegetables:
    • Play with different frozen vegetable combinations. Adding vegetables like spinach or kale in the last few minutes of cooking can provide extra nutrients and vibrant color.
  5. Broth Variation:
    • Instead of water, use beef or vegetable broth for a richer and more savory flavor. Low-sodium broth is a good option for controlling the overall saltiness.
  6. Parmesan Cheese Garnish:
    • Serve the soup with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. The nutty and salty notes from Parmesan complement the flavors of the soup.
  7. Splash of Red Wine:
    • For a deeper flavor profile, add a splash of red wine to the soup during the simmering process. The alcohol will cook off, leaving behind rich undertones.
  8. Squeeze of Lemon:
    • Just before serving, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice into the soup to add a touch of acidity. It can brighten up the overall taste.
  9. Grilled Cheese Pairing:
    • Serve the soup with a side of grilled cheese sandwiches for a classic and comforting combination.
  10. Spice it Up:
    • Customize the spice level by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for those who enjoy a bit of heat.
  11. Roasted Garlic Addition:
    • Roast a few cloves of garlic and add them to the soup for a mellow and sweet garlic flavor.
  12. Cook Al Dente:
    • Be mindful not to overcook the macaroni. Cooking it al dente ensures it maintains a pleasant texture in the soup.
  13. Bulk Up with Legumes:
    • Add cooked beans, such as kidney beans or cannellini beans, for added protein and fiber.
  14. Drizzle of Olive Oil:
    • Finish each bowl with a drizzle of good-quality olive oil for a silky and luxurious touch.
  15. Let Flavors Meld:
    • If time allows, let the soup sit for a while after cooking. This allows the flavors to meld and intensify.

Feel free to tailor these tips to your taste preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy making your Quick and Easy Busy Day Soup even more delightful!

Here are some secrets to achieving the perfect Quick and Easy Busy Day Soup:

  1. Sauteed Aromatics:
    • Before adding the ground beef, sauté diced onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil until they are softened and fragrant. This creates a flavorful base for the soup.
  2. Brown the Beef Well:
    • Ensure the ground beef is well-browned to develop rich, savory flavors. Break it into smaller pieces while cooking to maximize surface area for browning.
  3. Deglaze the Pot:
    • After browning the beef, deglaze the pot with a splash of broth or water. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot to incorporate those delicious caramelized flavors into the soup.
  4. Slow Simmering:
    • Allow the soup to simmer on medium-low heat for the recommended hour. This slow cooking process helps meld the flavors and ensures a well-developed taste.
  5. Season Gradually:
    • Add the onion soup mix gradually, tasting as you go. This allows you to control the saltiness and adjust according to your preference.
  6. Quality Tomatoes:
    • Use high-quality canned diced tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes, known for their sweetness and low acidity, can add a superior flavor to the soup.
  7. Al Dente Macaroni:
    • Cook the macaroni separately until it’s just al dente. This prevents it from becoming mushy in the soup. Add it towards the end of the cooking process to finish cooking in the broth.
  8. Balance the Vegetables:
    • Ensure a good balance of vegetables. If using a mixed frozen vegetable blend, choose one with a variety of colors and textures for visual appeal and nutritional diversity.
  9. Fresh Herbs at the End:
    • Stir in fresh herbs like parsley or basil during the last few minutes of cooking. This preserves their vibrant color and adds a burst of freshness to the soup.
  10. Adjust Consistency:
    • If the soup becomes too thick, you can add more broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
  11. Let it Rest:
    • Allow the soup to rest for a few minutes after cooking before serving. This lets the flavors settle and intensify.
  12. Reheating Considerations:
    • When reheating leftovers, add a splash of broth to maintain the soup’s consistency, and adjust seasoning as needed.
  13. Customize Seasonings:
    • Feel free to customize the seasoning. Add a pinch of dried herbs like thyme, oregano, or a bay leaf for extra depth of flavor.
  14. Quality Macaroni:
    • Choose high-quality macaroni for the best texture. Whole wheat or durum wheat varieties can add a nutty flavor and maintain a firmer texture.
  15. Mindful Freezing:
    • If planning to freeze portions, consider undercooking the macaroni slightly to prevent it from becoming mushy upon reheating.

These secrets will help you achieve a perfectly balanced and flavorful Quick and Easy Busy Day Soup. Enjoy your delicious and hassle-free meal!

Here are some popular questions and answers related to Quick and Easy Busy Day Soup:

Q1: Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?

  • A1: Yes, ground turkey is a great alternative. It offers a leaner option while still providing protein and flavor to the soup.

Q2: Is it necessary to use frozen vegetables, or can I use fresh ones?

  • A2: You can use fresh vegetables if you prefer. Just chop them into bite-sized pieces and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Q3: Can I use a slow cooker for this soup?

  • A3: Absolutely! Brown the beef, sauté the aromatics, and deglaze the pot as instructed. Then transfer everything to a slow cooker, add macaroni and vegetables, and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Q4: What can I substitute for the onion soup mix?

  • A4: You can make your own onion soup mix using a blend of dried onion flakes, beef bouillon powder, garlic powder, and salt. Adjust the quantities to suit your taste.

Q5: Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned diced tomatoes?

  • A5: Yes, fresh tomatoes can be used. Dice them and add them along with their juices to the soup. Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary.

Q6: Can I add more spices to the soup for extra flavor?

  • A6: Absolutely! Feel free to customize the seasoning. Common additions include dried herbs like thyme, oregano, or a bay leaf.

Q7: How do I prevent the macaroni from overcooking?

  • A7: Cook the macaroni separately until al dente and add it to the soup towards the end of the cooking process. This ensures it doesn’t become mushy.

Q8: Can I freeze this soup?

  • A8: Yes, the soup freezes well. Ensure it cools completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. Reheat on the stove, adding a bit of broth if needed.

Q9: What’s the recommended serving suggestion for this soup?

  • A9: This soup pairs well with a crusty bread, a side salad, or even a simple grilled cheese sandwich for a complete and satisfying meal.

Q10: How do I adjust the saltiness of the soup?

  • A10: Taste the soup before adding the entire onion soup mix. You can gradually add it, adjusting the seasoning to your liking. If it becomes too salty, dilute with more water or broth.

Q11: Can I make this soup in advance for meal prep?

  • A11: Yes, this soup is great for meal prep. Store it in airtight containers in the refrigerator and reheat as needed.

Q12: What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

  • A12: Reheat leftovers on the stove over medium heat, adding a bit of broth to maintain the soup’s consistency. Adjust seasoning as needed.

These questions and answers should help guide you as you prepare and enjoy your Quick and Easy Busy Day Soup!

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