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 flavor starts with a sofrito base, then builds with sage and Albariño wine, a fruity and intensely aromatic Spanish varietal.
Fry the pancetta in a large pan over a medium heat for four minutes, or until brown. Add the onions, carrots, celery and Garlic Granules. Continue to cook for a further six to eight minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables soften.
Stir in remaining ingredients, except the kale and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for twenty minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lemon peel and discard. Take out 300ml (½ pint) of the soup and blend on high speed until smooth. Return the puréed mixture to pot. Stir the kale into the soup and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until kale is tender and soup is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
To serve, ladle the soup into soup bowls. Garnish with thin twists of lemon peel, grated Asiago cheese and Asiago Crostini (recipe follows), if desired.