Summer is a time when you’ll find an abundance of cucumbers, in your own garden if you planted them, or at farmer’s markets. It’s also a time when the weather is often sticky and hot. So, who wants to cook?

Amy heard cookbook author Kathy Gunst being interviewed on the NPR show “Hear and Now”just as she was returning from the garden with multitudes of cucumbers. Amy had yard long cukes (also known as Armenian) but this delicious cold concoction could be made with any variety you have on hand.

The nice thing about this particular recipe for cucumber soup is that it’s a bit chunkier than most. It made a nice dinner with some grilled french bread topped with a good Manchego cheese.

Cold Cucumber Soup with Mint, Dill and Lemon cucumber soup

From “Notes from a Maine Kitchen” by Kathy Gunst (Down East Books, 2011)

Kathy’s Note: The soup is whirled in a blender or food processor an d can be made in less than 15 minutes. Chill for several hours (or overnight) and serve with chopped cucumber, dill and mint and a drizzle of lemon oil.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped*
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh mint
1 cup low fat milk or buttermilk
1 cup sour cream or low-fat plain yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon-flavored olive oil, or 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional
Dash hot pepper sauce
Garnish: 1 cup cucumber (peeled, seeded and finely chopped) mixed with 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill and 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
Drizzle of lemon olive oil or olive oil mixed with lemon juice, optional
*To seed a cucumber simply cut it in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the middle.

Instructions:
In the container of a food processor or blender add the cucumbers, dill, mint, milk and yogurt and process until blended, but not totally smooth. Add salt and pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste and drizzle in the olive oil (and lemon juice) if using. Place in a bowl or jar and chill for several hours.

Serve ice cold sprinkled with the cucumber-mint-dill mixture and a drizzle of oil.

Makes about 4 cups; serves 4 to 6.