Chris has a soup, tomato-based, that he likes to make on occasion. It makes a ton of soup so we sometimes freeze it but it becomes part of lunch for the next several days too. He made that soup today. Yesterday, he picked up some lobster tails at Meijer which we let thaw overnight in the fridge.
Since he’d made the soup during the day, I was in charge of the lobster preparation. I considered just boiling or broiling them with butter but they were smaller tails and I wasn’t sure how sweet the meat was going to be. Then I remembered we have picked up some challah rolls at the Grain Train in Petoskey over the weekend. Voila- the lobster roll! I used a recipe from Eating Well as my base.
Lobster Salad on Challah buns
2 5-ounce lobster tails
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, approx.
2 challah buns (or hot dog rolls or bread of your choice)
1/2 cup sugar peas, trimmed
1/4 cup minced celery
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallot
1 1/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon, or less, sugar
1. Heat broiler.
2. Cut lobster tails in half using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Brush meat side of tails with olive oil
3. Place, cut side up, under broiler. Broil 3-5 minutes, until shells are turning red, and meat begins to brown on top. Flip and cook another 2 minutes until shells are bright red and meat is opaque. Remove and let cool.
4. Combine celery, mayo, lemon juice, shallot, mustard, tarragon, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl.
5. Bring a small pan of water to a boil. Add sugar snap peas, cooking just until peas turn bright green. Drain and let cool slightly.
6. When both the lobster and peas have cooled enough to handle: remove lobster meat from shells and chop coarsely. Slice the peas width-wise in to thin pieces.
7. Combine peas and lobster with the dressing. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes for flavors to meld.
8. Slice challah rolls and toast lightly (either under broiler or in toaster/toaster oven). Pile high with lobster salad and dig in!
Because the lobster meat wasn’t particularly sweet, I added a little sugar to the dressing. This is definitely a taste preference and would vary depending on the type of lobster. This lobster was from South America and the shells were more tan/brown than you might be used to seeing on American East Coast caught lobsters. Whether this difference is because it was a different kind of lobster or simply the season of the catch, I felt it needed a little sweetness boost.
Chris’s SuperSpecial Tomato Soup
If you are my mom, don’t like lobster or really like tomato soup, you probably skipped right down to this section. Unfortunately, I don’t have a recipe for this soup. Ha-HA!
Here are some basics, though:
1 28 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 carton Imagine creamy tomato soup
1 small can tomato sauce
Dried hot pepper flakes (small amount, optional)
salt & pepper
Corn (1/2 can)
Olive oil & butter
fingerlings, red skins or other thin-skinned potatoes
Small dice the celery, carrots & onions. Saute in equal amounts olive oil and butter in a large stockpot.
Add seasonings (no measurements here) but Chris says mostly sage, then thyme and basil. He adds some cilantro now but most comes in after its been simmering.
Add tomato products & potatoes (which have been sliced in to thin rounds, maybe quartered first). Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer 20 minutes. Add corn and rest of fresh cilantro. Continue cooking about 5 minutes more.
Options: Add water with tomatoes for a thinner soup. Or add cream for a creamier soup. You can also mash up the stewed tomatoes a bit and/or blend some of it with an immersion blender. We don’t do that because I don’t have one. Yet.
We have also made this with wild rice instead of potatoes- that needs to cook longer or be pre-cooked and added towards the end.
Originally, Chris was going to add some kale to the soup as apparently he really likes it. Then he forgot. So, I made Kale Chips, using this recipe from Steamy Kitchen. We just added them to the top of the soup bowls but you can eat them out of hand too.
Basically, tear a couple cups of kale in to small pieces. Dry very thoroughly using a salad spinner. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with a bit of olive oil (a teaspoon or so?). Bake in a 350 degree oven about 10 minutes until kale is crackly but not browning. Season with salt as per the recipe, OR use something like Maple Sugar Garlic Pepper, our latest go-to for all things that normally would get salt (i.e. popcorn, baked sweet potato fries, bread and butter (that is all Chris, I might add)). We might have to start rationing this, a jar purchased in Vermont on our honeymoon, until I find a more local source. Next time we go to Vermont, possibly as soon as this August, I’m going to buy 6 jars or more.