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Longevity Ikarian Stew with Black Eyed Peas and Kale

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This Longevity Ikarian Stew is a savory pot of stew infused with the flavors of Ikaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, and a delicious BlueZone discovered soup.

Longevity Ikarian Stew with Black Eyed Peas and Kale | 31Daily.com

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I’ve long been a fan of the BlueZone books. And of their recipes! This Longevity Ikarian Stew is one of my favorites. A savory pot of stew infused with the flavors of Ikaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles southwest of Samos.

A simple dish with simple ingredients, drizzled with olive oil. A dish that BlueZone authors believe contributes to the incredible longevity of Ikarian residents.

RELATED: 19 Around the World Cabbage Recipes

This stew calls for dried black-eyed peas. You can save time by swapping frozen black-eyed peas or 4 cups canned. I’ve only made this stew with dried and would assume canned may change the texture a bit. Yet if time is a factor, by using canned, this stew will simmer a mere 25 minutes.

The BlueZone notes, “Today, Ikarians are almost entirely free of dementia and some of the chronic diseases that plague Americans; one in three make it to their 90s. A combination of factors explain it, including geography, culture, diet, lifestyle, and outlook. They enjoy strong red wine, late-night domino games, and a relaxed pace of life that ignores clocks. Clean air, warm breezes, and rugged terrain draw them outdoors into an active lifestyle.”

7 “recipes” for longevity as practiced by the Ikarians:

  1. Drink some goat’s milk.
  2. Mimic mountain living.
  3. Eat a Mediterranean-style diet.
  4. Stock up on herbal teas.
  5. Nap.
  6. Fast occasionally.
  7. Make family and friends a priority.

Longevity Ikarian Stew with Black Eyed Peas and Kale

If you want to make this stew in a slow cooker, see this recipe: “Slow Cooker Longevity Ikarian Stew.

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Longevity Ikarian Stew with Black Eyed Peas and Kale | 31Daily.com

Longevity Ikarian Stew with Black Eyed Peas and Kale

I've long been a fan of the BlueZone books. And of their recipes! This Longevity Ikarian Stew is one of my favorites. A savory pot of stew infused with the flavors of Ikaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles southwest of Samos.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson



  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 large yellow or white onion diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 fennel bulb chopped or sliced
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large kale leaves slivered
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill


  • Sort black-eyed peas and remove any damaged peas, stones, or debris.
  • Add peas to a large pot, cover with cold water 2 inches above the peas. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Cover and remove heat and allow to soak for 1 hour. Drain peas and set aside.
  • Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 20-30 seconds. Stir in the black-eyed peas, carrots, tomato, tomato paste, bay leaves and salt. Stir until tomato paste dissolves. Add enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 50 minutes. Stir in kale and dill. Cover and cook until the kale is tender, 5-10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle into four or five bowls. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on top of each serving.


  • Cooking Time: To cut cooking time, you can substitute canned or frozen black-eyed peas. The original recipe from BlueZones calls for 1 fennel bulb, sliced, to be added along with the onion. I'm not always able to find it, so I've eliminated it from the recipe. But it makes a wonderful addition.


Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 505mg | Potassium: 1175mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 9529IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Ikarian Stew, Longevity Ikarian Stew with Black Eyed Peas


  1. Hi Stephanie,
    I really liked your addition of carrots and kale to this dish as the original Blue Zones stew did not include them. I actually skipped the fennel (cause it is definitely not a favorite of mine) and used a leek with a small sprinkle of fennel powder. Then served it over couscous with some plant-based Feta…next time I may add a squeeze of lemon or splash of vinegar to brighten it up a bit. Thanks for posting this, it was delicious!

    1. Hi Jessica! I’m so glad you liked this soup. I’m glad you enjoyed the extra veggies– I think it goes back to a picky toddler who wasn’t overly fond of vegetables. To this day, I’m always adding them (hiding them) in anything I can. Your substitution of the leek for fennel was really smart and perfect those who aren’t fond of it’s distinctive flavor. Adding both lemon and a splash of vinegar would be wonderful. Thank you for so much for trying it and letting me know how you liked it!

    2. This was filling and delicious. I only added half of the fennel in as I had never cooked with it before and I wasn’t sure my daughter would like it if was to aniseed tasting.
      However you couldn’t taste it and it just blended all together beautifully, so i shall use a whole one next time.
      The whole family enjoyed this, even my daughter ate it, who’s picky.
      It was so nice knowing that I was feeding my family something so nutritious as well as tasty. I put a small squeeze of lemon juice on mine and it elevated it perfectly. Thank you for this lovely recipe

      1. Hi Leigh! I had a power outage during my response to your comment a few days ago and didn’t realize it never posted! Sorry about that. But– thank you so much for trying this recipe. It’s one of our favorites. And… I have family members adverse to fennel too but they enjoy it in this soup as well. I’m so glad it worked well for your family!

    1. Hi Kim! It absolutely can be made in an Instant Pot. You will need to presoak the beans overnight. I like to soak in a bowl with water that reaches 2 inches above the beans and refrigerate until the next day. When you’re ready to make the stew, Saute the vegetables in oil in the insert and cook on high for 10 minutes. Then naturally release for 20 minutes before quickly releasing any remaining pressure. Hope you like it!

  2. Can a broth, stock, bone broth be used in place of the water? and, when adding in the fennel bulb, do you cook it with the onion? Is the bulb kept whole or chopped?
    Thanks, can’t wait to try this!

    1. Hi Kathy! Yes, you can definitely substitute broth, stock or bone broth. It will enhance the flavor. We included water because that is the way the Ikarians have made it for so long. The fennel should be chopped or sliced. I like to cut the bulb in half and then slice in about 1/2-inch slices. This should be cooked with the onion, followed by the garlic. It’s such a healthy soup — can’t wait for you to try it!

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