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!
traditional salmon soup is a spring favorite
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 whatever the calendar says.
ingredients for salmon soup
- 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. Be sure to remove those tough outer layers before slicing.
- potatoes ~ any type you like: russet potatoes will soften and melt into the soup, while waxy potatoes will remain firmer.
- carrots ~ add color and lots of Vitamins A and C.
- fresh dill ~ you can’t beat this feathery herb ~ fresh dill is nice and mild so you can’t really over do it.
- cream ~ you can lighten up with half and half, either will work.
- allspice ~ unexpected to the American palate, but wonderful!
the key to a great fish soup? it’s 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 secret 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.
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!
When I’m feeling the need for some hearty comfort food, I turn to my salmon coconut curry or creamy lemon dill salmon, both are family favorites.
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.
- 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!
Questions and Reviews
Thank you, Sue! This is totally fabulous! I am usually not a big fan of fish…anything. But, wow and WOW! This will definitely take its place in my regular rotation.
I’m so glad, Judy ~ salmon has a way of converting even non fish lovers 🙂
Since making this, I passed the recipe along to my daughter. It was such a hit that her SO asked for the leftovers for breakfast!
This is SO good for breakfast 😉 Thanks Judy!
I am glad you loved the idea of this soup and decided to make it. It’s one of the best soups I have ever tasted in my whole life!
Sue, I made a triple batch yesterday using a whole salmon. My husband filleted and deboned the salmon and I made a quick stock with the skin and bones (added an onion, some celery and peppercorns to the stock) and let it simmer for an hour. This is an amazing soup! Have lots of leftovers so am giving it away and taking it to a dinner to share. Thank you Sue!
Oh my gosh, that stock must have been amazing ~ great teamwork!
I love everything about this soup! First, such a pretty bowl of soup, but beyond that the combination of potatoes, salmon and dill is bound to be absolutely perfect. Sharing!
I am in luck! We do have fish stock in the fridge as we speak:) Leeks softened in butter is an amazing start to any recipe in my world:)
With all the fresh dill and leeks, this is the perfect spring soup!
I have never thought of salmon and chunky potato in a soup…and I love the how it turned out…comforting, filling and delicious.
Goodness the description alone sold me! It is a beautiful spring soup that is going on my must-try list! We adore salmon and love all that fresh dill. A beautiful treat. I love soup year round 🙂 Have a terrific weekend!
Thanks Tricia ~ my favorite part about this soup is that light creamy dill broth ~ it’s a great way to enjoy salmon!
This sounds really good. Seafood stock is available at one of my grocery stores (New Seasons in Portland, OR) and you can also order it online. I’ve seen both Swanson and Kitchen Basics. Thought this might be helpful.
Maybe it’s just my regular store, I can never find it ~ thanks Kathy!
I love the idea of a spring soup. Hip hip hooray for extending soup season! Salmon and potatoes are a favorite combination here so I know this will be a huge hit. Thanks Sue!
Spring soups are some of the best! Have a nice weekend Chris.