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Vegetable and black eyed pea stew in a bowl
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5 from 4 votes

Hearty Vegetable and Black-eyed Pea Stew

This vegetable stew is full of flavor, low in calories, and jam-packed with nutrients. Adapted from The Blue Zones Solution book by Dan Buettner, this is a classic Ikarian Vegetable Stew. Excellent and easy to make on a Sunday and then work through it for lunches during the entire week. It gets better and better as it sits in the fridge.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 244kcal
Author: Sally Humeniuk


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, yellow or white, diced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 15 oz cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped (1 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large tomato, beefsteak, red globe, or heirloom, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups kale leaves, slivered or chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • Black pepper, to taste


  • Warm 1/4 cup oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Stir in the black-eyed peas, carrots, tomato, tomato paste, bay leaves, and 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 the kale leaves and 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 1/4 cup olive oil, one tablespoon per bowl, just before serving.


If you have time to make this recipe using dried black-eyed peas, do so as follows: Place 2 cups dried black-eyed peas (picked over and rinsed) in a large pot, add enough cool tap water to submerge by 2-inches, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Off the heat and let soak for 1 hour. Drain in a colander and set aside until needed. If using dried beans, simmer the stew for about 45-50 minutes, until the beans are soft but not mushy.
The fennel is also very good when sliced very thin rather than chopped, but some people prefer smaller bites. And speaking of the fennel, some people do not love the flavor of fennel, but it is not powerful at all in this recipe. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Do not omit the dill. This herb is a critical part to the fabulous, fresh flavor of the stew.
This protein rich stew freezes well, though the kale will lose a little of its vibrancy. The flavor will still be delicious.


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 560mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 10400IU | Vitamin C: 43.5mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1.2mg