Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Avocado and Smoky Creme Fraiche

One of my favorite things to make at this time of year is Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho. Living in Colorado, we are subject to a bit of a later growing season. As a result, the end of August and beginning of September ends up being the best time of the “summer” to get local heirloom tomatoes!

I recommend making this gazpacho a day ahead of time to allow the flavors to really develop. With this particular recipe, I like to add the avocado for texture, and the smoky crème fraiche really adds a fun, non-traditional flavor profile. It is a great addition to any barbecue or summer afternoon activity, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

I made this gazpacho at a recent Cocktails in the Kitchen event in Colorado Springs. Photo by Brian Johannsen

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Avocado and Smoky Crème Fraiche
Yield: 4 cups

Gazpacho*

  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, choped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (4-oz) can tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons parley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Smoky Crème Fraiche

  • 1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste

To Serve

  • 1 to 2 avocados

* Make the gazpacho a day ahead of time to let the flavors develop.

To make the gazpacho, combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a small hand blender, puree everything to your desired consistency. (If you don’t have a hand blender, you can use a regular blender or food processor.) If you like a more chunky gazpacho blend for less time, and if you want it smooth blend for a good 5 minutes or so.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover the gazpacho and store in the fridge overnight.

The next day, make the smoky crème fraiche. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and season to taste with kosher salt. 

To serve, ladle a few ounces of gazpacho into a bowl. Cut some fresh avocado and place on top. Add a small spoonful of crème fraiche, and enjoy!


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 the kitchen, Chef Brandon enjoys spending time skiing, camping, golfing, and eating with his wife Larissa and their three kids.