Yellow Tomato and Summer Vegetable Soup “Au Pistou” | CUESA

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Returns March 17, 2022

Yellow Tomato and Summer Vegetable Soup “Au Pistou”


Mark Dommen, chef and partner at One Market Restaurant

It was prepared for CUESA’s Market to Table Program on July 30, 2011.

Serves 6


Soup base
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
¼ teaspoon chili flake
4 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ bunch thyme
¼ bunch savory
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
8 cups yellow tomato, chopped
Sea salt, to taste
1 quart vegetable stock

3 ounces fresh cranberry beans (or substitute any fresh shelling bean), shelled
3 ounces Romano beans, sliced into ½–inch pieces
3 ounces yellow wax beans, sliced into ½–inch pieces
2 ounces fava beans, shelled
2 ounces fresh English peas, shelled
3 bulbs baby fennel, chopped
30 Sweet 100 tomatoes (or substitute any cherry tomato), tops removed
2 baby zucchini, thinly sliced
4 French Breakfast radishes, thinly sliced
6 squash blossoms, torn into pieces
Handful chive blossoms
Extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, diced
½ pound parmesan cheese
Pistou (see attached recipe)
Chives, to taste, roughly chopped
Micro basil or Fino Verde basil (or any type of basil thinly sliced), to taste

1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan
3 cloves roasted garlic
Sea salt, to taste


1. Prepare the soup base: In a sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, fennel, chili flake, garlic and herbs and sweat until tender. Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and season to taste with sea salt. Cover with vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and simmer over low heat until the tomatoes are very tender; about 30-45 minutes. Double check the seasoning one more time and then pass the soup base through a fine-mesh strainer,  pressing on the solids as much as possible in order to get the maximum extraction.

2.  Prepare the vegetables: Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Starting with the cranberry beans, which will take the longest to cook, blanch separately each variety of bean until tender.  Remove from the water with a slotted spoon onto a sheet tray to cool as you work with the next.  Repeat with the peas and fennel, blanching until just tender. Blanch the tomatoes for 8 seconds and then peel them with your fingers or a small knife.  Leave the zucchini, radishes and the squash and chive blossoms raw. Set all vegetables aside once they are cooked and prepped.

3.  Add a small amount of olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat and render the pancetta slowly until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain and set aside.

4.  Prepare the parmesan cheese crisps: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a silpat (or parchment paper) on a a half sheet pan. Grate an even layer of parmesan cheese over the silpat.  Place in the oven and bake until the cheese starts to brown. This should take about 8 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven, give it a second to cool and remove the cheese in random sized pieces. They should almost look like shingles.

5.  Prepare the pistou: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and blanch the basil leaves. Shock in ice water to stop the cooking and drain.  Squeeze out as much of the water as you can. Put the basil in the blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend to a smooth texture.  Season the pistou to taste with salt and pepper and set aside until you’re ready to plate.

6.  To plate the dish: Heat the soup base in a sauce pot. Warm 6 soup bowls in the oven. Once warm, remove from oven and place some of the pistou on the bottom of each bowl. Gently warm the vegetables in a sauté pan and divide among the bowls. Divide the sliced zucchini and radish, the blossoms, and the chive and basil between the bowls.  Finish with the parmesan crisps. Pour the soup base tableside. Enjoy!


Photo by Barry Jan.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »