Inyo Country Store Lentil Soup — Dry Sherry Is Not Optional!

Life is too short to drink instant coffee or bad wine.
Proverbs of Sparrow

Hikers visiting Inyo National Forest in Inyo County, California stumbled upon the Inyo Country Store. They were coming in after a long hike and they were hungry, and ordered the lentil soup. It was so good, the hikers asked for the recipe, which they then shared in Gourmet Magazine.

You’ll notice in the recipe that the ½ cup dry sherry is optional. I disagree. If you don’t drink wine, don’t feel left out – the sherry simply represents the admittedly optional good things of life which you deny yourself because you feel you somehow “don’t deserve them”. What I’m thinking about are things like half a cup of wine, or attractive clothes or a vacation, or a life free of fear. These things have nothing to do with your deserving.  Life Is too short to make foolish deals with yourself. The day when you reach this mystic goal of deserving it is a day that might never come. There will always be something about you that you feel needs improvement, and the closer you get to your goal of “deserving it”, the farther away you might set the goal.

Life really is too short to drink instant coffee or bad wine. But if you are in California and hope to find the Inyo Country Store you will be disappointed. It is long gone. The good news is however, the Serenity Salon & Spa is open where it used to be. You should go in and treat yourself to a haircut and a massage.

2 large onions, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 ribs of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 cups chopped plum tomatoes
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
½ cup dry sherry (optional)
1 pound lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup

Cook onions in the oil until softened; add garlic, celery, and carrots and cook 10-15 min. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, dry sherry, lentils, bay leaves, curry powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, thyme, brown sugar and ketchup. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for two hours, or until lentils are tender. Makes 10 cups


2 thoughts on “Inyo Country Store Lentil Soup — Dry Sherry Is Not Optional!

    1. Hi! Come to think of it, I do have to add more liquid when I make it. I may have been making the recipe out of my head, and only referring tangentially to the recipe that I posted. But if you have a better – an original copy of the recipe, I would be happy to update my blog with it. Thanks for the feedback!


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