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Ikarian Stew

From the kitchen of The Blue Zones Solution.


  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large red globe, beefsteak or heirloom tomato, diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large kale leaves, slivered
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill


  1. Spread the black-eyed peas on a large baking sheet and pick over to remove any damaged peas or debris. Put the peas 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. Set aside off heat and soak for 1 hour. Drain in a colander and set in a sink.
  2. Warm ¼ cup oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over a 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 black eyed peas, carrots, tomato, tomato paste, bay leaves, and salt until the tomato paste dissolves. Add enough water to cover the vegetables. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly until the black-eyed peas are tender (not rocklike but not mush), about 50 minutes.
  4. Stir in the kale leaves and dill, Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle into 4 bowls. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on top of each helping.
  5. TIP: For a quicker meal, substitute 4 cups frozen black-eyed peas, thawed, or 4 cups drained and rinsed canned black-eyed peas-and skip step 1. Simmer in the stew in step 3 for only 25 minutes to blend flavors and cook fennel. Complete step 4 as directed.
  6. TIP: When working with high-acid foods like tomatoes or vinegar, always cook in nonreactive cookware, such as stainless steel, anondized aluminum, or enameled cast-iron pans, pots, and skillets.

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