Finnish Salmon Soup, or Lohikeitto, is a simple Nordic salmon chowder and a comforting 30 minute meal made with a light cream broth, melt-in-your-mouth chunks of salmon, and tons of fresh dill!
This traditional salmon soup is a favorite right now
I’m obsessed with this healthy Finnish soup (in Sweden the soup is called Laxsoppa, in Norway, Fiskesuppe.) It’s utterly simple and so satisfying ~ made with fresh salmon, chunky potatoes, carrots, and leeks. The flavors are unpretentious and clean, with a traditional dill infused broth touched with allspice. I make it in the spring, of course, when wild salmon is in season, but it’s become one of my favorite winter meals, too. It’s healthy comfort food.
What you’ll need:
- skin-on salmon ~ wild is best both for flavor and nutritional value. For convenience you can buy it frozen, there’s no loss of nutrients.
- leek ~ this gives a nice mild onion flavor and adds color to the soup.
- potatoes ~ any type you like: russet potatoes will soften and melt into the soup, while waxy potatoes will remain firmer.
- fresh dill
- cream ~ you can lighten up with half and half
- allspice ~ unexpected to Americans but wonderful!
The key to a great fish soup is the stock
There’s only one hitch to making a great fish soup, and that’s the stock. Most of us don’t have fabulous fresh fish stock in the fridge, and canned stock isn’t the greatest quality, so we need to get creative.
My homemade fish stock hack
I’ve come up with a way to make a pretty good fish stock substitute and it starts with buying salmon with the skin on. I remove it and simmer it in water to make a quick broth. A quick strain and it’s ready to use. The flavor gets even better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to develop.
There’s no shortage of delicious salmon recipes on my blog
We love salmon and eat it more than any other type of fish. Did you know that salmon is one of the best sources of vitamin D?
I make my rainbow salmon skewers all the time because they literally take about 15 minutes to throw together. We eat them with couscous or salad.
Another favorite salmon meal is salmon and zucchini burgers, I serve the warm burgers over a fresh green salad ~ heaven!
Reader Rave ~
“Finnish approved! I was born and raised in Finland and I was raised on this. I grew up cooking a recipe very similar to this salmon soup in school. This is great and authentic Finnish Salmon soup.” ~Joonas
Finnish Salmon Soup – Lohikeitto
- 1 lb skin-on salmon filet
- 4 Tbsp unsaltd butter
- 1 large leek, trimmed, sliced, and well rinsed
- 5 cups water (you can also use fish stock)
- 1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 1 cup fresh dill for garnish, finely chopped, divided
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp allspice, use more to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the skin from the salmon and cut into largish chunks. Remove any small pin bones and discard. Reserve the skin.
- Melt the butter in a soup pot and saute the leeks for 10 minutes, or until nice and soft.
- While the leeks are cooking, put 5 cups of water and the reserved fish skin in a saucepan and bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Note: if you are using fish stock you can skip this step.
- Strain the broth and add to the pan with the leeks, along with the potatoes, carrots, and half of the fresh dill. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender.
- Add the salmon chunks to the soup along with the cream and allspice, and gently simmer on low heat until cooked through, just a few minutes. Add the remaining dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
notes and variations
- If you can get your hands on great fish stock, by all means use it! Clam broth can also be used. I've sometimes even used clam juice as a base for fish soup.
- I've occasionally made this soup with hot smoked salmon (the kind that comes in a chunk) and it gives great flavor.
- Serve this soup with some rustic artisan style bread ~ rye or pumpernickel would be amazing! I have a great recipe for Pumpernickel Biscuits on the blog which would be perfect with this Finnish salmon soup
- Consider doubling the recipe so you can have the leftovers the next day, it gets even better!