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Puree diet can taste GOOD

Think puree consistency foods are terrible? Well, I have to admit that most are. However, I am currently working with a woman with dysphagia that happens to be a gourmet chef, and she has completely made me re-think puree consistency food. During each therapy session she would bring in another one of her puree culinary creations for me to sample, and it was absolutely delicious!

This patient has progressed to being able to eat solid foods and no longer needs to eat her puree delights, but she is seriously considering creating a gourmet cookbook for other patients with dysphagia.   Below is a sample recipe that she has shared with me.

Black Bean Soup Caribe

Take a trip to the tropics with this luscious soup.  The velvety black beans are given high notes of lime, ginger, and garlic, then finished with a dollop of sour cream and silken smooth avocado.

Serves 4 generously. (“Honey” thick liquid consistency; can be thickened to puree with drink thickener if need be )


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1-inch cube fresh ginger
  • ¾ cup onion, fine dice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Scant ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 x 15oz cans of black beans,
  • including the liquid and sediment
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt  to taste


  • ½ avocado
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 lime
  • Finely diced red onion
  • Finely diced tomato
  • Lime wedges

How to make it:

Finely mince garlic and ginger and add along with onion to the butter in a sauté pan.  Gently sauté until everything is translucent.  Add smoked paprika (also known as Spanish paprika) and the chipotle powder and stir until well blended and fragrant.

Add the carrots and beans*; use the cup of water to rinse the cans out, taking care to get all the juice and sediment. (They add flavor and color to the soup.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Because  bean skins can be tough, you may need to process the soup in batches to get it perfectly smooth, stopping processor and scraping down the bowl every few minutes.  Don’t be alarmed if it seems to be taking a long time – every processor is different.

*If sharing the soup with people who have no swallowing issues, I reserve about ¼ of the beans processing them and add them back to their bowls when serving.


Mash the avocado and push through a fine sieve.  Stir in some salt and a good squeeze of lime juice. Stir sour cream to loosen it and add a dollop to each bowl, followed by a second dollop of avocado.

I garnish my plate as shown in the photo – a pretty plate whets the appetite.  The flowers are to remind me not to eat the garnish from the rim of the bowl

For the folks who are getting the ‘regular’ version, top with the diced  red onion and tomato, and grate a little lime zest on top.

To drink:

Piña Colada
Mango or Guava Nectar

© Joanna Jordan Dyson 2012

About the author

Jen Carter

Jen Carter is a speech pathologist who has been treating adults with dysphagia for more than 25 years.  She is a Board-Certified Specialist in Swallowing and treats patients at her clinic the Carter Swallowing Center in Denver, Colorado.

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