A Tasty Dysphagic Diet : Doña Maria’s Thick & Creamy Potato & Carrot Soup: by Maria De Leon

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“I kiss way better than I cook…

and I am a pretty good cook” ~ Suzy Toronto


As we begin to have motor fluctuations with Parkinson’s or as the disease advances some of us may begin to experience difficulty in swallowing. This is typically manifested in the form of coughing or choking. This does not mean that we have to give up taste or stop eating! We simply have to adjust our diets to get the right nutrients and still find pleasure in food. This recipe which was my grandmothers (who not only was a great cook but had PD herself) is great for those who need a diet for those that have dysphagia (this means trouble swallowing which can result in malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration, and chocking).

This is also excellent for Parkinson’s patients because as we lose our sense of smell we tend to lose our taste which is deeply integrated to our abilities to smell. Our tongues only detect salty, sweet, bitter and sour. It is actually the nose which gives us the flavor of food and palate. But, by making a rich creamy, buttery tasting soup combined with the crunchiness of the sunflower seeds and the chewy texture of the cheese you can stimulate and titillate your taste buds all at the same time!

Hopefully this will become one of your favorite recipes as it is mine.

Plus it’s not only nutritious but easy to make whether you are the patient with PD or the caregiver for a loved one who has Parkinson’s.


3 large (Delaware or Nadine) potatoes

2 large carrots

1/2 cup milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground pepper

1 queso fresco (crumble)

Roasted (honey) sunflower seeds

Parsley for garnishing

Cooking directions :

Place potatoes and carrots in a pot with boiling water to cook. Once fully cooked remove from heat. Drain water. Cool off a bit and peel potatoes and carrots. Place carrots and potatoes in blender. Purée along with milk. Return contents into a separate simmering pot and add butter, salt, pepper, heavy cream. Stir till it simmers. You can make it thicker by adding less heavy cream. Soup has orange tinged when done.

Serve into bowl add a pinch of queso fresco (which has been crumbled) and a pinch of sunflower seeds. Add few leaves of parsley for garnishing!

Bon Appetite!

*****NDD (National Dysphagic Diet)*******

  • NDD1: (dysphagia puréed) All foods must be purred and thickened to a pudding like consistency – must be lump free and little or no chewing required.
  • NDD2: (Dysphagia mechanical altered) All foods soft, moist and easily chewed…meats are ground and served with gravy and sauce. Cooked breakfast cereals and pancakes. Moistened with syrup. Tuna and egg salad in is category. Some chewing required.
  • NDD3: (Dysphagia advanced) Most food consistency allowed except no dry, sticky, hard or crunchy . Food must be moist and bite size. Meats must be tender and cereals moist. Lettuce can be served if shredded.
  • NDD4: Regular. No restrictions.