May is Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month. As your author has written several works on Chinese history and culture, Essential Puree is featuring a recipe from the Chinese kitchen. Wonton soup is a great favorite in Chinese restaurants. It is a broth-based soup with dumplings, a little pork for flavor and spinach for the green vegetable.
This version uses lower sodium soy sauce. It is not as salty as standard Chinese takeout. It is much more delicious. Why take out when you can make it quick and easy at home?
This is a no-recipe, recipe. It is a broth flavored with soy sauce, pork and spinach, and rounded out as a dish with dumplings. This is a warming and soothing snack, or a soup, for the beginning of a meal. Adjust the components of the dish to suit your personal taste. This qualifies as a Quickie for Caregivers item, because it can be made in under thirty minutes. Why the Quickie for Caregiver version? Sometimes you just have to get a meal on the table. This Quickie Version is made from high quality convenience items that make cooking in the dysphagia kitchen easy and fast.
FG brand frozen dumplings have excellent flavor and a good ratio of filling to wrapper. They are gluten free. This is important for the dysphagia kitchen. They puree to a very good texture without any hint of gumminess. That would be hard to swallow. The FG brand stands for Feel Good. I buy my frozen dumplings, chicken or vegetable, in the Whole Foods store. The frozen dumplings available in Asian markets often have thick wrappers. They are wheat-based, and they puree to a gummy consistency, which is not good for the person with a swallowing disorder.
The other go-to convenience ingredient is: Canadian bacon from the supermarket. In general, this is a less processed item. Remove the rind before slicing up for the puree.
Vegetarians: Eliminate the pork and add 4 oz. of cubed silken tofu to the puree. The green vegetable adds a fresh component. You can use the leafy parts of baby bok choy, but cut away the stem. Use that for vegetable broth and discard it. Frozen spinach will work in this dish on the days when you feel you cannot breathe because you are so busy.
Equipment: This can be made in the pitcher of a blender, if your blender or mini food processor is powerful enough to puree the Canadian bacon to a smooth texture. The NutriBullet Rx or a NutriNinja that has the heating selection will do the job easily. Vitamix also has the heating selection. This can be done in a high-speed commercial blender, one of the many lower-priced knock-offs of the Vitamix, now on the market. There are several from celeb chefs offered for sale on HSN. There is one offered for sale on QVC.
If you use a blender without the heating function, simply warm the soup for a minute on a low heat on the stovetop, but not too hot for dysphagia service. Amazon sells a number of these items. I have tested the Vitamix but have not tested the other high-speed commercial blenders.
Wonton Soup – No Takeout
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: Five minutes Level: Easy
- FG dumplings, one box, chicken or vegetable, microwaved 90 seconds according to directions
- 1 box of lower sodium chicken broth (or 1 quart homemade chicken stock, if you have it
- 2 scallions, white part, finely sliced (these are milder and more tender than the green parts)
- 2 slices Canadian bacon, julienned into 1 inch matchstick shape, rind removed (optional)
- 4 oz of silken tofu, cubed into inch cubes (optional)
- ½ cup fresh or frozen spinach
Place the contents of the package of dumplings in a microwave safe dish and cook on high for 90 seconds. Set aside and allow them to cool. You do not need to use the flavor packet, as the chicken soup provides the flavor.
For the Puree
Place 1/4 cup of broth, the julienne (inch-long matchstick cut) of the Canadian bacon. Remove the rind.
Pulse a few times then puree to completely puree the Canadian bacon.
Add the fresh or frozen spinach and the scallions.
Add the tofu (optional)
Add the rest of the broth, and press the red button on the NutriBullet Rx to start the soup cycle. Allow it to go halfway through the cycle, three minutes.
Taste. Add lower sodium soy sauce if needed.
Add dumplings. Place on the regular cycle for two minutes to puree.
Add a scoop or a pump of Instant Thickener to bind the puree. Puree for ten seconds to fully incorporate the Instant Thickener. The soup should be smooth and pudding consistency. If the soup is too thick, use water a tablespoon at a time to thin it.
Swirl Away! Delicious! 旋流! 很好吃!
Featured photo credit: NguyenPhamDang via Pixabay, cc