Contrary to most Western European shellfish soups this Russian style lobster soup is thick, filling and served with a couple of thin toasts (Toast Melba) with each serving it is hardly an appatizer but a a full meal.
Melba toast is a dry, crisp and thinly sliced toast, often served with soup and salad or topped with either melted cheese or pâté. It is named after Dame Nellie Melba, the stage name of Australian opera singer Helen Porter Mitchell. Its name is thought to date from 1897, when the singer was very ill and it became a staple of her diet. The toast was created for her by chef and fan Auguste Escoffier, who also created the Peach Melba dessert for her. The hotel proprietor César Ritz supposedly named it in a conversation with Escoffier.
Melba toast is made by lightly toasting slices of bread under a grill, on both sides. The resulting toast is then sliced laterally. The thin slices are then returned to the grill with the untoasted sides towards the heat source, resulting in toast half the normal thickness.Thus, it can be described as a twice-baked food (see rusk).
Melba toast is also available commercially, and was at one time given to infants who were teething as a hard food substance on which to chew.
In France, it is referred to as croûtes en dentelle.