Hearty Vegetable and Black-eyed Pea Stew is rich in protein and low in calories. Adapted from The Blue Zone Solution, this Ikarian stew is delicious.
I recently finished reading The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner. Basically, this book covers research on the world’s “Blue Zones”, areas in which people live the longest, healthiest, most vital lives. I’m not here to swear that every recipe I ever make from now on will be a Blue Zone recipe, nor will I tell you what I think you should or shouldn’t eat. I’ve never done that and never will. But I love good-food recipes of all kinds and was drawn to many of the recipes featured in the book. This hearty Vegetable and Black-eyed Pea Stew is called Ikarian Stew in the book and Dan said it was “hands down, my favorite longevity recipe”, so it was the first recipe I tried. And let me tell you, this instantly became one of my family’s favorite soup recipes.
I’ve made it so many times in the last few weeks that I’ve lost count, and took some over to my friends Doug and Ann (who were down with colds). Doug made a point a few days after of calling and letting me know that was “One great soup”.
Let me give you a little run down on this tasty recipe. Hearty Vegetable and Black-eyed Pea Stew starts with some onion, fennel, and garlic. The fennel is very mild in this recipe but adds kind of a sweet celery flavor to the dish. Carrots really shine here so I increased the amount a little over the original recipe. Black-eyed peas are so good for you (beans seem to be a cornerstone of the Blue Zone diet) and I’ve made the recipe using dried and canned peas. We found both equally tasty and the canned black-eyed peas require less overall cooking in the stew (not to mention you can skip the pre-soak) so I use this method most often.
The stew is finished off with a fresh large tomato, tomato paste, bay leaves and enough water to cover. I was skeptical that water wouldn’t be as flavorful as broth of some kind but was so wrong about that. The “juice” created during cooking is delicious and just right. At the end of the cooking time, a nice helping of chopped or slivered kale and fresh dill are added. You can add a lot of kale or just a little, but do not skip the fresh dill or try to substitute with dried dill weed. The fresh dill brightens the stew just right and is truly the perfect finish.
Hearty Vegetable and Black-eyed Peas is an excellent recipe to make at the first of the week, maybe doubled, and then enjoyed for lunches or dinner throughout the week. A one-pot meal that doesn’t need any accompaniments other than some chunky sourdough bread for dipping. Also, it freezes great! Which makes it a perfect food to have on hand when a friend or neighbor is sick or when you just want to share some food-love. I promise this is a recipe that will have you hooked!
Have a good day, and a good dinner, all!
Hearty Vegetable and Black-eyed Pea Stew
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, yellow or white, diced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 2- 15 oz cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped (1 ½cup)
- 1 large tomato, beefsteak, red globe, or heirloom, diced (about ¾ cup)
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups kale leaves, slivered or chopped
- ½ cup fresh dill
- Black pepper, to taste
- Warm ¼ cup oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add 1 onion and 1 fennel. cook; stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Stir in 30 ounces black-eyed peas, 3 carrots, 1 tomato, 2 Tablespoons tomato paste, 2 bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt until the tomato paste dissolves. Add enough water just to cover the vegetables. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly 25 minutes.
- Stir in 2 cups kale leaves and ½ cup dill. Cover again and cook until the kale is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Crack black pepper over individual bowls of the soup and drizzle the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, one tablespoon per bowl, just before serving.
Slightly adapted from The Blue Zones Solution.
Becca Povloski says
I think I like this better than minestrone soup! D-LICIOUS!
ashlie hill says
This was good and different but needed an extra zip. Still glad I tried it 🙂
gretta p says
This recipe is wonderful! Usually bean soup is thick and tastes like nothing but beans. This recipe is ten times better! You can taste the onions, carrots and fennel. It has wondeful flavor! I will definitely be making this again. I put a little bit of shredded cheese on top.
samatha willis says
Fantastic soup! I added about a cup of celery. very tasty, very healthy wonderful soup.
jack m says
This is a wonderful soup recipe!!! I followed directions exactly the first time, but the second time around added a zucchini and garnished with shredded Jack cheese and served with warm bread. Perfect!
This was delicious! It was a last minute meal and I happened to have 2 cans of black eyed peas! The only change I made was I left out the fennel.
Sally Humeniuk says
Thanks, Sherri! It’s a regular in my house. Glad you liked it!
stephanie p says
Absolutely delish!! This is a quick and easy meal that tastes fantastic! My husband and the kids loved it.
Sally Humeniuk says
Great to hear, Stephanie! It’s so good for you too. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Wow! Such a bright, healthy yet hardy soup! I should have made this for Easter. 😏
Making it this week! Thanks for sharing 💜
Sally Humeniuk says
Thanks Katie! It’s bound to become a favorite. 🙂
This looks so healthy and delicious! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the recipe!
Sally Humeniuk says
Thanks Becky! I hope you like it. We can’t get enough of it.