Chili-Carrot Soup

Serves 2 / The guajillo is a dark reddish-brown dried chili with mild to medium heat. If you can't find it,look for cascabels or pasados. Serve with French bread and a green salad.

1/2 guajillo chili
3 large carrots, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon puréed ginger
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 corn tortilla, broken in small pieces
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
Pinch of kosher salt

1. Soak chili in hot water for 20 minutes, then remove seeds and veins. Steam carrots until tender, 10-15 minutes.

2. In an 8-inch nonstick pan on medium-low heat, add 1/4 up chicken stock, ginger, and shallots. Sauté until tender, about 8 minutes.

3. Put cooked carrots, corn tortilla, shallot-ginger mixture, chili, and remaining stock in a blender. Blend until smooth.

4. Pour vegetable mixture in a 2-quart pot. Add orange juice to carrot mixture and heat through. Salt to taste.

Reprinted with permission from The Chili Pepper Diet by Heidi Allison (Health Communications Inc., 2002).