Ikarian Longevity Stew

Ikarian Longevity Stew

This recipe for Ikarian Longevity Stew was adapted (as oil-free)from The Blue Zones Kitchen and The Blue Zones Challenge, and shared by Nan Simonsen in her January 2022 cooking class. Ikarian's are some of the longest-lived people in the world! Makes 4 servings. Nan doubled the recipe in this video.


  • 1 cup dried blackeyed peas (1/2 pound), or 15 oz can drained (Nan used cooked yellow-eyed beans in her class. May use any canned or cooked large white beans such as cannellini.)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced (Nan’s addition)
  • 1 large, firm ripe tomato, finely chopped, or use 1/2 15 oz canned chopped tomato
  • 2 teaspoons tomatoes paste, diluted in 1/4 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Vegetable broth or water for dry-saute, and the stew (approximately 6-8 cups)
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt (optional) and pepper to taste


If using dried blackeyed peas: cover with water and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for at least an hour.  Drain and rinse.

If using canned blackeyed peas, skip this step.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add onion.  Stir as it starts to lightly brown, adding a few tablespoons of broth or water to deglaze the pan and prevent burning. After 3-4 minutes, add garlic, fennel, and carrots, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10-12 minutes.

Add the blackeyed peas, tomato, tomato paste mixture, and enough broth or water to cover the beans by about 1-2 inches, depending on how much broth you like in a stew. Add the bay leaves.

Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the black-eyed peas are about halfway cooked (if using dried peas). Check after 40 minutes, but it may take over an hour. If using canned, skip to the next step after 10 minutes.

Add the chopped dill (or oregano) and season with salt to taste (optional).  Continue cooking until the blackeyed peas are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasonings. For flavor, color and nutrition, I always enjoy chopped spinach stirred into soup moments before serving.

Lovely served with crusty whole-grain sourdough bread and a crisp green salad.




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