Story of a dinner – from French garden to yoginis’ supper

The vegetable garden as Les Aleis

Much of the food served at les Aleis starts here – in Lucy’s impressive vegetable garden.

This is the story of a delicious dinner – one of the yummy vegetarian feasts served at Les Aleis, the retreat centre in the south of France where I run a yoga holiday every September.

It’s a great time of year to visit Les Aleis, which is an hour and a half north of Toulouse; the garden and countryside around is abundant. Fig trees are dripping with fruit, the veg patch is jewelled with bright, red tomatoes, plump squashes and courgettes.

Butternut squash growing in the garden

Butternut squash ready to be harvested for our roasted veg and pasta supper.

Dinners are accompanied by lush green salads, and followed by comforting fruity puds.

Last time I was there I followed our host Lucy Ackroyd (who is also the gardener and chef) around with a camera as she prepared our evening meal: pasta with roasted veg and feta.

She started by picking vegatables from the garden to roast: golden butternut squash, firm and shiney courgettes, garlic

veg ready to roast in the oven

Ready for the oven: veg from the garden.

and onions. To these she added locally grown red and green peppers, splashed with olive oil and popped in the oven.

Meanwhile, pasta was cooked, carrots grated and feta cheese chopped into chunks. When the veg emerged from the oven, the whole lot was mixed together, seasoned and served up to the awaiting  guests, who were hungry after a not-so-arduous day of yoga, country walks and chilling by the pool!

Eating by candlelight

Lucy’s home-grown veggie cooking has become so popular with visiting yoga students, she’s publishing a “Yoga Retreat Recipe Book”, which includes the secrets of her amazing beetroot and tomato soup, lentil lasagne, and carrot cake. I’ll post a link as soon as it’s available.

Meanwhile, I’ll be returning to Les Aleis

Produce for the kitchen

Host, gardener and chef Lucy Ackroyd with produce on its way to the kitchen.

this year for six days of relaxing yoga from September 9-15. There are a couple of rooms still available (which can be singles or twins)  if you would like to join me. I can promise two

yoga sessions each day, guided silent walks and

meditations, trips to some of the stunning medieval towns nearby, and possibly a swim in the river… In between there will be time to relax, read a book and, of course, enjoy Lucy’s wonderful cooking.

You can see what previous guests have thought of the holiday here on YouTube, plus information here about accommodation, prices and travel details.

In the yoga barn

Evening sunshine fills the yoga barn.

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