This is especially good if you use a really good quality pesto sauce or, even better, this homemade one.

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1lb 10oz zucchini, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cream

Pesto Sauce

1 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.

Add the stock and the zucchini to the onion mixture. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the zucchini is very soft.

To make the pesto, process the basil, parmesan and pine nuts in a food processor for 20 seconds or until finely chopped. Gradually add the olive oil and process until smooth. Spoon into a small bowl.

Transfer the zucchini mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Return the mixture to the pan, stir in the cream and 2 tbsp of the pesto and reheat over medium heat until hot.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with toasty ciabatta bread.

Serve the remaining pesto sauce in a small bowl and let people help themselves.