Gazpacho with Poached Shrimp & Avocado


I prepared this dish last summer for the Colorado Cancer Coalition‘s Survivor Day. It’s such a perfect summer dish that I decided to share it again! Meghan Perkins, our registered dietitian, included some notes about how nutritious it is, as well. The shrimp are packed with lean protein, and avocado provides healthy, anti-inflammatory fat. Plus, all those vegetables give it a bunch of fiber and antioxidants. I hope you enjoy this gazpacho on a hot day knowing it’s good for you, too!

Gazpacho with Poached Shrimp & Avocado

Recipe by Brandon Foster, executive chef
Nutrition notes by Meghan Perkins, registered dietitian

Makes 4 cups

Day Before*
*If possible, I like to make the gazpacho a day ahead of time to let the flavors deepen

  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 four-ounce can tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using a small hand blender, puree everything to your desired consistency- less time for a chunky soup, and more time for a smooth soup. (If you don’t have a hand blender, you can do this in a food processor or standard blender instead.)

Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, cover, and store in the fridge overnight. Taste the next day and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Day Of

  • 8 ounces shrimp, frozen, peeled and deveined, tail off
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 avocado, diced

Place the shrimp in a small saucepot, add the salt, and cover with cold water. Place on the stove over medium heat. As the water slowly heats up, stir the shrimp until they turn pink. Note that the water should never come to a boil- the shrimp will be done well before then!

Once the shrimp are pink, drain using a colander. Add a few ice cubes to the colander and stir into the shrimp until melted. Do this as many times as needed until the shrimp are nice and cool all the way through. Pat dry with a paper towel.

To serve, ladle gazpacho into a bowl. Arrange the shrimp on top of the soup or around the edge of the bowl. Top with some fresh avocado and enjoy!

Nutrition tidbits:

Onions/garlic: some studies have shown onion and garlic can lower risk for certain types of cancer, and more research is still being done
Tomatoes: full of the antioxidant lycopene and high in potassium and vitamin C
Zucchini/celery/bell peppers: good sources of fiber; contain vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds known to help keep our cells healthy and help protect against different types of cancer 
Lemon juice, parsley, and basil: citrus and fresh herbs are a great way to bring out flavor without needing to add too much salt

Chef Brandon FosterBrandon Foster began his life in the kitchen at the Best Western in Frisco, Colorado almost 18 years ago. His passion for ingredients and drive to learn technique led him down the mountain to Denver, where he worked in two of Denver’s most fondly remembered restaurants, The Fourth Story and Mel’s. He joined the crew at Vesta in 2005 as a line cook and became executive chef in 2010, focusing on getting back to the roots of cooking through charcuterie and seasonal ingredients. Ultimately, Chef Brandon’s career highlights centered on events like Plates for the Peak, Invest in Kids, and James Beard Foundation dinners where he could play a role in helping people in need- a passion that led him to Project Angel Heart in 2016. Outside of the kitchen, Chef Brandon enjoys spending time skiing, camping, golfing, and eating with his wife Larissa and their three kids.

Meghan Perkins 150x150

Meghan Perkins is Project Angel Heart’s registered dietitian. After a semester studying baking and pastry arts at culinary school, Meghan quickly found her passion for clinical nutrition and transferred to the University of Northern Colorado to earn her bachelor’s degree in dietetics. Meghan has worked in clinical and private practice settings, educating patients about how their food choices impact their health with an emphasis on CKD, diabetes, heart disease, celiac disease, and weight management. In her free time, Meghan enjoys exploring Denver by bike with her husband, trying new coffee and tea shops, hiking in Crested Butte, and relaxing with her dog Barney.