Summer recipe from vegan chef Nico Vera of Portland, Oregon


Gazpacho made by Chef Nico Vera | Photo by @cookfirstportland

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Local vegan chef Nico Vera has teamed up with Cook First Portland — which aims to help cultivate the Portland home cooking community — to make his gazpacho recipe one of its signature summer dishes. This chilled tomato soup meal pays homage to the Indigenous roots of the tomato using local ingredients (chef Nico mentioned that farmers market heirloom tomatoes are at peak season, too).

We think you should give it a try at home. Here’s what you need to get started.

Makes four servings


  • 2 bread slices, crust removed
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1½ pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Cooked quinoa, for garnish
  • Chopped mint, for garnish

How to prepare the meal yourself

  • In a bowl, tear the bread slices by hand and mix with cold water.
  • Using a fork, mash the bread to form a chunky porridge.
  • In a blender, add the tomato pieces and garlic clove + blend on high for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the bread porridge and blend on high for 30 seconds.
  • Add the salt, vinegar, and olive oil + blend on high for 30 seconds.
  • Use a spoon to stir the liquid in the container to give the soup a smooth + creamy consistency.
  • Serve in bowls and garnish with cooked quinoa and chopped mint.

Want to learn more about chef Nico Vera and his insights on the culinary scene? You’re in luck. Check out his recently released podcast feature with chef Christine Pittman on Time Management Insider, which delves into his Peruvian past and how he has veganized traditional Peruvian dishes.

Grab your ingredients the local way by heading to the PSU Farmers Market or the Rubinette Produce Market at 2340 NE Sandy Blvd.

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