Millennial Grocery Guide

Super Simple Tomato Soup

Homemade tomato soup is simple and easy  |

How this guide works: Ingredients are broken down into approximate location in the grocery store, by order that you'd usually purchase them (starting in produce & deli, then over to dry goods, and ending in dairy). There is also a cost of ingredients scale ranging from $ (very cheap) to $$$$ (extremely expensive - I'm not sure any of my recipes even have an ingredient like this yet). 

About Millennial Staples: These are items you should always keep stocked in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. It will make throwing together a quick dinner easy and simplify grocery shopping. It allows you to purchase food on sale, and all these items are extremely unlikely to go bad before you use them!



  • 6-8 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced in half $$ You can get different kinds of tomatoes, like heirloom, plum, and cherry. Just make sure you have the equivalent of 6-8 medium sized tomatoes. A few more won't hurt, but you don't want less, because you want to make sure this is tomato soup, not vegetable soup. The best tomatoes are ones that are fresh from the farm in the summertime - try for those if you can.
  • 2 cloves garlic $ Millennial Pantry Staple
  • 1/2 yellow onion $ Millennial Pantry Staple
  • 2-3 stalks of celery $ Probably comes in a bigger package than you need. Great for snacking if you have extra - I'm a fan of ants on a log.
  • 3-4 carrots $
  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves $$ Fresh herbs have a higher cost, but definitely needed in this simple soup with fresh tomatoes. Avoid dried basil or else it will taste too much of marinara sauce!


Did you know you can buy  your onion, celery, and carrots pre-chopped for you at the hero of all grocery stores, Trader Joe's? Yep, that's right. They sell Trader Joe's Mirepoix (the fancy name for this combination of veggies that serves as the basis for many recipes, including soups, stuffing, and sauces). It's only $2.99 for a 14.5 oz tub - worth it for the prep time saved. Depending on where you shop, it might actually be cheaper than or about the same as buying the veggies individually. 


  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish $$$ I'm a big believer in good cheese - it can make or break a dish. This is a simple soup, mostly vegetables and delicate basil. Take it to the next level with good parmesan sprinkled over the top at the end. Or even better - turned into grilled cheese.

Dry Goods

  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil $ Millennial Pantry Staple
  • Salt & pepper, to taste $ Millennial Pantry Staple
  • 3 cups vegetable OR chicken broth $ Millennial Pantry Staple I prefer chicken broth just because I'm used to the flavor, but use vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian!


  • 1 cup heavy cream $$ The great thing about heavy cream is that it's sold in small portions - just a cup even. If you do have any extra, definitely make homemade whipped cream. It's my favorite. Substitute: You can substite light cream, half & half, milk, or even non-dairy milk. It will change the texture and flavors a bit but still works!