Chinese five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. It’s readily available in the Asian section of supermarkets.

8 to 10 unpeeled carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 c white rice
1/2 c broth or water
1/3 c milk
1/4 t five-spice powder
1 T butter
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper

1. Bring the carrots, rice, and broth or water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add the milk a few seconds before removing the pan from the heat. Let cool a bit.

2. Pour the contents of the pan into a food processor (or pass the solids through a food mill) and add the five-spice powder, butter, salt, and pepper. Purée–the consistency will be thick, similar to mashed potatoes. Serve hot.