The Best Chinese New Year’s Soup

Chinese New Year Pureed Soup

This is the year of the Fire Rooster, or as my former professor says, the Firebird. Millions of families of Chinese descent are making the trek home for the Lunar New Year. Millions of Chinese-Americans and those who simply love great Chinese food, are looking forward to the iconic meals of the New Year, foods meant to usher in health, prosperity and good family outcomes, such as marriages and babies.

Chinese New Year Pureed SoupFrom Portland chef Jerome Chen, click here for a recipe with everything you need to know to make Chinese dumplings for New Year’s Soup. See instructions below for how to adapt this recipe for the dysphagia diet.

This soup takes time to make and is for the family and the caregiver who like to cook.

Chinese families love to get together and baojao-zi, meaning make dumplings. It is a time for gossip and family bonding. So if you are inclined to do a little kitchen work for a great New Year treat, this recipe is for pork dumplings.


Please leave out all of the peppercorns when making the broth. Star anise has a licorice flavor and is safe, if you like it.

Also, I recommend cutting down on the spices, garlic and ginger, to perhaps half of the called for amounts. Leave out the sesame oil, as it has heat.

This should make a tasty broth and dumplings that are safe for the swallow.

Serve the soup at the ideal temperature, not too hot and not too cool.


After the dumplings are steamed and the broth is cooked, allow the soup to cool.

Taste the broth. For a patient with a swallowing disorder, one wants to avoid the sharp inhalation or the aspiration of breath, as this aspirates food into the lungs. When the broth passes the taste test, you are ready to create the pureed version of this delicious dish.

Add one cup per serving of broth to the pitcher of a blender.

Add three or four dumplings to the broth.

Pulse until the dumplings break up and puree completely.

Add one scoop or one pump of instant thickener and blend for ten seconds until fully incorporated.

Check to see if this is your desired thickness, according to the level of the National Dysphagia Diet, NDD, recommended by your healthcare provider.

Adjust the amount of thickening until the desired thickness is achieved.

Since the soup has a variety of ingredients, to make sure the puree is smooth, use a silicone spatula to put the puree through a mesh sieve, to make sure the are are no bits of the ingredients.
Happy Year of the Firebird!