Adapted (as oil free) from The Blue Zones Kitchen and The Blue Zones Challenge
Makes 4 servings, I doubled the recipe for my YouTube video
If using dried black-eyed peas: Cover with water and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour. Drain and rinse.
If using canned black-eyed peas, skip this step.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add onion. Stir as it starts to lightly brown. Add a few tablespoons of broth or water to deglaze the pan and prevent burning. Continue this way until onions begin to wilt. Add garlic and fennel, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10-12 minutes.
Add the black-eyed 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 black-eyed 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.