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Soup season

Chef MATT WILKINSON and his wife SHARLEE GIBB know how hectic it can be to cook for the family while juggling work and life. In How it is at Home, they share the honest, fuss-free food that they enjoy with their boys every day.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) free-range boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 leek, white and light green part only, halved lengthways and sliced
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
2 x 7 cm (2 3/4 in) pieces kombu (optional)
80 g (2 3/4 oz/ 1/2 cup) soup pasta (such as risoni or mini macaroni)
zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges, to garnish
1 bunch bok choy (pak choy), leaves separated
parsley sprigs, to garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the chicken thighs and brown on all sides, then add the leek and sauté for 2 minutes. Pour over the stock and 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) water, add the kombu, if using, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and leave to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred into pieces using two forks. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the broth, cover with a lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes, until the pasta is cooked through, then add the shredded chicken, lemon juice and zest and bok choy and cook for a further 2 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve garnished with parsley sprigs.

This is an edited extract from Mr & Mrs Wilkinson’s How It Is At Home by Matt Wilkinson and Sharlee Gibb, published by Hardie Grant Books, photography © Patricia Niven.

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