RECIPE: Cranberry Bean, Sage and Orzo Soup

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.

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 50 min
Makes: 7 (1 cup/250mL) servings


  • 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped pancetta
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped carrots
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped celery
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) McCormick Gourmet Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Albariño wine or other dry white wine
  • 1 pkg (946 mL) Kitchen Basics® Original Chicken Cooking Stock
  • 1 can (540 mL) cranberry (also called borlotti) beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) orzo pasta, uncooked
  • 2 thick strips lemon peel
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) McCormick Gourmet Paprika
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) McCormick Gourmet Sage Leaves
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) McCormick Gourmet Coarse Grind Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) McCormick Gourmet Crushed Red Pepper
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) Club House Sea Salt Grinder
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped kale


1. Sauté pancetta in 5-qt (5 L) saucepot or Dutch oven on medium heat 4 minutes or until browned. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic; sauté 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables soften.

2. 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.

3. Remove lemon peel; discard. Transfer 1 cup (250 mL) soup to blender. With centre 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.
  • Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans are popular in Italian cooking. Borlotti beans have a beige color splashed with red streaks, which they lose during cooking, and a creamy texture with a mild, nutty flavour. They are more commonly found dried or canned in most groceries or online specialty stores. If they are not available, white kidney beans, also known as cannellini beans are a good substitute.
  • Albariño is a variety of white wine grape grown in Spain that produces a dry, aromatic, crisp wine, high in acidity with citrus and peach notes.