tomato soup with brown butter, kale, and pistachios

Get your slurp on with this tomato soup with brown butter, kale, and pistachios. Perfect for bowl-licking or grilled cheese-dunking.
tomato soup with brown butter, kale, and pistachios

You think you know the person you’re married to and then he looks at you with a face of unease and says, “But do you really think brown butter belongs in tomato soup?”



I realize I shouldn’t blame myself for this existential crisis he’s obviously having, but I don’t know, I feel like I’ve failed him somehow on a very fundamental level.

Like, how does he not know that there is no wrong when it comes to brown butter, just right, RIGHT, and MORE RIGHT.

I really wonder about him, I do.


Anyways, while he was hemming and hawing and writing a pros/cons list on our whiteboard (<–not exaggerating), I took matters into my own hands and brown buttered all over his bowl while he wasn’t looking.

It sounds dirty, but really it was just delicious.

Totally good for you tomato and kale soup trashed up with some roasty toasty salted pistachio bits and liquid gold.

Black brown butter ops mission: accomplished.


One of the few times when eating your words actually ends up being a good thing.

The only thing that could make this better is if we dunked something really cheesy into it.

Challenge accepted.


Tomato Soup with Brown Butter, Kale, and Pistachios
Get your slurp on with this tomato soup with brown butter, kale, and pistachios. Perfect for bowl-licking or grilled cheese-dunking.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 (28 oz) canned crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup roasted salted pistachio meat, chopped
  • 4 tbsp brown butter
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and smoked paprika. Saute for 5-6 minutes, or until onion is tender and translucent. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, cooking for 2-3 minutes or until tomato paste starts to shimmer and look golden in spots, stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so and making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Stir in the kale leaves and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  3. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and top evenly with pistachios and a brown butter drizzle.
Adapted heavily from How Sweet Eats
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl

 Love soup? Check out these:

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Fire-Roasted Tomato Orange Soup

curried tomato soup with hard boiled eggs

Curried Tomato Soup with Hard Boiled Eggs

wheat berry and white bean soup with savoy cabbage

Wheat Berry and White Bean Soup with Savoy Cabbage

From Around the Web:

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup from Two Peas & Their Pod

Chipotle Tomato Soup from Fake Food Free

Roasted Tomato Soup Mac and Cheese from Adventures in Cooking

Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup with Green Harissa and Halloumi Croutons from The Bojon Gourmet

Creamy Tomato and Tarragon Soup from Baker By Nature


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43 Responses to Tomato Soup with Brown Butter, Kale, and Pistachios

  1. Brown butter always belongs. I actually think you get even more out of it in savory foods because the flavor is just so perfect.

  2. As butter is so good in tomato sauce, I don’t see how it could be bad in soup!

  3. This sounds so incredibly awesome, Joanne. I wonder whether coconut oil could be substituted. I have never tried to burn it! 😛

  4. You had me at pistachio meat!!! I love this so much!

  5. Sarah says:

    This soup looks super warm and cozy for winter. You are the queen of Kale! I got some Kale this weekend, and will be referring to your recipes page on how to cook it in a yummier way than I usually do (read: eat raw or stir fry with a teensy bit of salt)! 🙂

  6. You are hilarious. One should never question a recipe with brown butter!! Delicious looking soup!

  7. Bowl licking is totally going to be a thing with this drool-worthy soup!!!!! OMG brown butter paired with tomato soup! That is magic in an epic proportion! I’m so sure that your husband’s opinion must have changed with the first life-changing spoon of this liquid gold loaded soup! <3 Pinning, of course! :* :*

  8. YES! So.much.yes. Brown butter in soup is amazing!

  9. It’s definitely a soup kinda day!! But this soup would be perfect for any day! Brown butter? Are you kidding me?! Pinned!

  10. Everything is better with brown butter (or butter lol). I love this soup with all of the spices and textures!

  11. Meg says:

    Very unique — and really, when would I ever turn down tomato soup of any kind?! It’s pretty much my favorite.

  12. whoa- what an intense tomato soup! i mean that in a very good way 🙂 love it!!!

  13. danielle says:

    Brown butter belongs in everything!! And I am loving the addition of the pistachios in this soup.

  14. I would have never thought of adding pistachios in tomato soup! You are so creative with healthy and delicious treats, Joanne.

  15. This is so different from anything I’ve tried before – especially with pistachios in a soup!

  16. SallyBR says:

    Heck, I used brown butter to dress beefsteak tomatoes in a salad last year… I bet he would be very scared! 😉

    Wonderful soup…. love the kale in it

  17. Oh, do loooove tomato soup and this looks fabulous, can’t wait to try – thanks for sharing.

  18. Kate says:

    Browned butter goes in everything.

  19. I bet the brown butter makes this a lot richer, lovely tomato soup 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  20. Beth says:

    Hey, at least he knows what brown butter is. That alone is a big deal.

  21. This soup looks so comforting!! I just love it!

  22. How dare he question your brown buttery wisdom?? This soup sounds like something you’d find in a posh restaurant, Joanne. Truly sounds amazing!

  23. I loooove this lively take on tomato soup! Sounds super flavorful!

  24. I agree Brown Butter Rocks. You really ‘souped up’ Mr. Plain Ol’ Tomato Soup. Ha.
    Funny about your husband. It made me laugh. Thanx.

  25. Betty says:

    I didn’t realize there was a place that browned butter didn’t belong- I don’t know that place, anyway. This looks really tasty! 🙂

  26. Oooo I love the unexpected idea of brown butter in there. Yum!

  27. I must try the pistachios in my next bowl of soup!

  28. You would definitely disown me if we knew each other in real life: I don’t know what brown butter IS! Terrible, I suspect. The soup looks great though 🙂

  29. This soup looks amazing, Joanne!!! HA! I’m not even sure my husband even knows what brown butter is. Just smile and threaten him. . he eats what you put in front of him and doesn’t say anything or he can cook for himself. 🙂 works every time. love love love the kale and pistachios. Perfection, yo.

  30. CakeSpy says:

    Now this sounds like the perfect hearty yet healthy winter soup. I love the addition of pistachios – creative!

  31. Lisa says:

    Well, now I’m super hungry. I often crave a good tomato soup and you’ve dressed this up nicely.

  32. YUM this sounds amazing! we are loving the kale thing these days!

  33. Oh my gosh, this soup!! And yes, brown butter all. day. long! Pinned!

  34. Christine says:

    This looks so good and the color…yum. You’re so funny about teasing the.boy! 🙂

  35. Brown butter or not ( you naughty girl) this soup looks delectable

  36. Kelly says:

    Love the pretty color of this tomato soup. Brown butter always belongs. Its sounds amazing with the kale and pistachios and looks so comforting!

  37. grace says:

    pistachios in soup?!? get outta here, joanne. what a great, crunchy idea. you definitely have the colors of the season in there too. 🙂

  38. My kind of comfort food! Love, love pistachios and brown butter and have never tried either of them in soup…love this idea.

  39. Browned butter? And pistachios? In soup!? I love both of those things but I would not have thought of putting them in soup. Guess I’ll have to try it sometime! Certainly looks awesome and you already converted your husband so why not me too. I love that you made a pros and cons list.

  40. Very behind on commenting about the fact that BROWN BUTTER IN SOUP IS GENIUS. I expect nothing less from you, but still. I LOVE.

  41. sandra says:

    I have to say when I read the title I had the same reaction as’ (doesn’t roll off the tongue like the.boy) but upon further consideration I have to say it just might be genius!

  42. Johanna GGG says:

    That soup looks beautiful – would be quite happy to have it as a starter at christmas (and I am very fussy about my christmas menu)

  43. […] used this recipe as a guide, but kept out the brown butter, subbed coconut milk for the cream and pumpkin seeds for […]

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