This rustic, satisfying Mediterranean style soup gains texture and protein from creamy cranberry beans, also called borlotti beans, making it a hearty one-pot meal. The soup’s rich flavour starts with a sofrito base, then builds with sage and Albariño wine, a fruity and intensely aromatic Spanish varietal.
3 cups (750 milliliters) Albariño wine or other dry white wine
4 packages Kitchen Basics® Original Chicken Cooking Stock
4 cans (540 milliliters) Cranberry (borlotti) beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/3 cup (325 milliliters) Uncooked orzo pasta
Sauté pancetta in a large saucepot on medium heat 4 minutes or until browned. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic; sauté 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables soften. Stir in remaining ingredients, except the kale. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove lemon peel; discard. Transfer 4 cups (1 L) soup to blender. With center part of cover removed to let steam escape, purée on high speed until smooth. Return puréed mixture to pot. Stir kale into soup. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until kale is tender and soup is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. To serve, ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with thin twists of lemon peel, grated Asiago cheese and Asiago Crostini (recipe follows), if desired.
• Asiago Crostini: Place thinly sliced baguette in single layer on baking sheet. Brush lightly on both sides with olive oil. Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven 5 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with grated Asiago cheese. Bake 2 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted.