Heat 10 c vegetable stock. Soak 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms in 2 c stock for 1 hr. Strain and add liquid to stock; finely chop mushrooms. Peel & dice 4 medium beets & 2 carrots. Over medium heat, sauté 1 large diced onion, 2 tsp salt & 2 bay leaves in oil until soft. Add mushrooms & carrots & cook 10 min. Stir in beets, 2 c chopped red cabbage & 1 more tsp salt. Add stock, bring to simmer & cook to tender. Combine 2 Tbsp chopped dill & 2 Tbsp chopped parsley. Add 4 chopped Roma tomatoes, 15 oz white kidney beans, 3 Tsbp balsamic vinegar & half the herbs. Simmer 20 min. Before serving, season with juice of 1 lemon, cracked pepper & adjust salt. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche.
– Rebar, 50 Bastion Sq, Victoria, 250-361-9223, www.rebarmodernfood.com. The porcini mushrooms impart a meaty flavour reminiscent of traditional ham bone-based borscht in the “old country.”