According to Dan Buettner, who wrote the Blue Zones books, in Sardinia and Ikaria they eat some version of a minestrone soup every day. He calls this Longevity Soup. The Blue Zones are areas of the world that have the largest populations of people who live to be over 100 years old.

I’ve read various versions of longevity soup. There is not only one recipe, but they all follow the same pattern: They are filled with a variety of vegetables and beans. You can vary the vegetables by what is in season. You can start with a vegetable broth, or a chicken broth, or even water as the base. Some people add small-shaped pasta or couscous or some other grain. Some add tomatoes, some do not.

I made a version of Longevity Soup based on ingredients I had in the house. It was delicious and comforting, and filled with good things.

Here is my version of Longevity Soup, which I will definitely be making again.

Longevity Soup

Longevity Soup

Here is my version of the Blue Zones minestrone that includes a variety of beans and vegetables.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine Greek, Italian, Mediterranean


  • 3 cups dried beans (See Notes below)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 large russet potato (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 celery rib (chopped)
  • 1/2 fennel bulb (chopped)
  • 1/2 yellow squash (chopped)
  • 1/3 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 12 green beans (trimmed and cut in two)
  • 3 Swiss chard leaves (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


  • To a large bowl, add 4 cups of water. Add 3 cups of dried beans and set aside for 45 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse beans.
  • In a large soup pot, add chicken broth and beans. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes, covered.
  • In the meantime, put the chopped potato, carrot, celery, fennel, yellow squash, red bell pepper, green beans, Swiss chard, and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Toss to coat evenly. Refrigerate until the beans are ready.
  • Add the vegetables to the beans and broth, cover and continue to cook at an active simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until all ingredients are tender. Add an additional cup of water if the base starts to dry out.


I learned from an Italian chef that it’s not necessary to soak beans overnight, but they do take some time to soften up while cooking. 
For the 3 cups of beans, I used 2 cups of pinto beans and 1 cup of a 16-bean mix.
Use whatever vegetables are in season or that you like best.
Keyword beans, minestrone, soup, vegetables

Longevity Soup detail

Longevity Soup

Longevity Soup