I recently had a cucumber and cilantro soup at Lantern that was perfect during this hot weather. I've thought about just winging it without a recipe, but I'm sure my results won't be as good. Any chance they'd share the recipe? -- R.D., Raleigh
Andrea Reusing is chef-proprietor of Lantern (423 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill; 969-8846; www.lanternrestaurant.com), whose fresh take on Asian cuisine has garnered national accolades. Reusing spills the soothing secrets of her Icy Spicy Cucumber Soup.
She also shares a recipe for Indian Vegetable Stew with Tomato-Saffron Broth and Chickpea Dumplings, along with the following description: "This is an extremely versatile stew that can incorporate a wide range of late summer market produce in various combinations with great results. It is an ideal make-ahead dinner: All elements can be prepared several hours in advance and then quickly combined right before serving. At the restaurant, we serve it with a fresh cucumber-yogurt raita and spicy pickled red onions, but it would pair well with a prepared chutney as well. The dumplings are dense, sour and chewy, similar to the traditional southern Indian idli, which are typically made from fermented dal and rice."