bhodi khaya retreat soup

Elaine Seidel, Bhodi Khaya Retreat

Last weekend I attended a much longed for yoga retreat at Bhodi Khaya, lead by the wonderful yoga teacher and artist, Elaine Seidel. When departing for my weekend away I was quite nervous to leave my 2 girls and hubby behind, but it turned out they had a marvelous time without me, eating far too much chocolate, going on game drives and not combing their hair…but the important thing is that my lovely little family survived the weekend without me, and it served us all well in different ways.

My good friend, tribe member and soul sister, Alka Martine, asked me to join her on this retreat, tempted already to spend some me-time with my friend, the scales were tipped when I heard that Elaine Seidel was leading it, of whom I had heard only great things.

I am a stay at home + work from home mom, have two gorgeous super busy little girls, and when last weekend arrived I was so ready to have some ‘me time’…for the first time since my 20 month old was born….phew…

Bhodi Khaya is near Stanford in the Overberg, the farm has a rich and long history, the setting is pretty and peaceful, the food is gorgeous, there are great walks to go on and the studio is wonderful.

Alka and I shared a cozy en-suite room (Fern) leading to the quad, and once we settled in and unpacked it was time for our first yoga class. To say it was blissfull is a understatement. Elaine teaches a unique Vinyasa Flow yoga style, influenced by her own body-journey, Iyengar Yoga and Synergy Yoga. She knows her stuff, is gentle, intuitive, inspiring, light hearted and has tons of humility…a magical combination in a teacher.

That friday night class was the first of many happy hours spent on my mat. As a yoga teacher and retreat facilitator myself, and due to geographical challenges, I rarely have the chance to attend yoga classes, did I mention that it was blissful?..The blissfullness is made up as follows; one 1/3 is being taught by a amazing teacher, one 1/3 is being the participant and not the teacher for a change, and one 1/3 is lazing and relaxing in a tranquil setting with lots of beautiful souls to share it with.

If you are a yogi (even the beginner kind), and need some time out and reflection, I highly reccomend signing up for a yoga retreat, I can’t wait for my next one…and a little bird told me Elaine is planning another retreat in October 2015, to get in touch with Elaine about retreats, or her classes in Cape Town, you can email her on


In this post I am also sharing my version of a delicious tomato soup we were served on our first night at Bhodi Khaya.


  • 1 large aubergine, sliced thickly and salted
  • 10 medium tomatoes, roasted and then de-skinned after
  • 1 brown onion
  • 5 table spoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 L good gluten free vegetable stock (I use the ‘Health Connections’ Veggie stock)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of origanum
  • 1 hanfull of fresh basil
  • 2 cups of shredded spinach
  • Pink salt and black pepper to taste


  • Heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and roast the tomatoes & aubergine in two separate oiled trays. The aubergines needs to be sliced in 2cm thick slices and salted both sides with a generous amount of olive oil coating both sides. The tomatoes you can just cut in half and place them face up in the tray, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt.
  • Roast both the tomatoes and aubergines in a pre-heated oven for 30min, then turn the oven off and take out the tomatoes….but leave the aubergine’s in the oven to keep roasting while you prepare the tomatoes…your aiming for that marrowy texture.
  • Peel the skins from the roasted tomatoes and set aside, discarding the peels.
  • Now fry the onion,chopped finely in some coconut oil, then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, herbs, salt, stock and last the roasted aubergines & spinach.
  • Now cook all the ingredients together for another 30-40minutes, then take it off the heat and let it cool for approx. 10 minutes before whizzing with a hand  lender into a silky smooth & velvetty soup.
  • Serve with some sourdough bread…….or add less stock ( only 350ml) and it becomes a delicious pasta sauce!

Happy cooking, with love, from the yoga kitchen




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