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Lemon, Chicken and Rice Soup

Winter is creeping in slowly here in New Zealand and it’s time for some hearty meals like this beautiful and extremely simple chicken soup.
For this recipe you will need:

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2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion
1 small carrot, peeled
1 small fennel bulb (keep fronds for garnish)
2 cloves garlic
4 chicken stock cubes or 1 litre chicken stock
2 chicken legs (you can use chicken breast too)
1/2 cup long grain rice ( I like my soup thick so I put a little extra)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 lemon (zest and juice)
A few mint leaves for garnish

First of all finely chop your onion, carrot and fennel bulb. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add all chopped veg to the pan as well as crushed garlic. Fry for around 5 minutes stirring regularly until the onion has softened.

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In the mean time if you are using chicken legs, take the skin off and cut them in half through the joint.

When your vegetables are ready, add the chicken stock and the chicken

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bring it to the boil. Simmer for ten minutes or until the chicken is cooked on medium low heat.
Take the chicken out.
Add the rice to the soup and bring to simmer. Cook for another ten minutes until the rice is tender. Then add the peas and lemon juice and cook for another 2 min.

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Meanwhile take the meat of the bone of the chicken and return it to the soup mixture. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.
Garnish with finely shredded mint, lemon zest and fennel fronds. Beautiful with fresh crusty bread.

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Wintergarden cafe

We were visiting Auckland museum today and decided to have lunch in Wintergarden Cafe next to of course – Winter gardens. It is situated in a great location, surrounded by parks and a duck pond. We were made very welcome and the service was lovely and fast. Started with a couple of great coffees, soon followed by our Eggs Florentine

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It’s was very nice. Good price range too. The only let down was that we weren’t told about the specials and only saw them on the way out.

A day out around Helensville!

We decided that we would go for a drive, as we both had the same day off this week. We haven’t seen much of north west Auckland so chose to take a trip up to Helensville.
Not knowing much about the local area we came across this cafe on South Head road called Macnut Cafe. What an experience and not a great one at that! As Trevor was extremely hungry we decided to give this place a go. If you are ever in this situation keep on driving. Customer service is non existent in this establishment nor is the upkeep of the premises. Even at this point we ( Trevor) decided to give the food a chance.
The menu was basic, nothing in comparison to what they advertise on their website.
Trevor ordered bacon and egg burger more like a grease burger and Gaila – mushroom burger, received on a chipped plate. Dry chips with no seasoning.

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We were given a half a bottle of water with dirty glasses. I don’t think we have ever left a place so quickly after receiving the food and that includes McDonald’s.
It’s a shame, the place has potential.

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Trev looking scared.

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