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
Delicious meal, the smells take us back to our engagement in Finland! Unfortunately it took us longer then the recipe indicates though, more like 2 hours when you include all the chopping and boiling of the veggies, just keep that in mind when you make this 😉
Great recipe! But just a little error, Finland is not a Scandinavian country but a Nordic one 🙂
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. Be sure to stop by Finland and try out some other Finnish traditional foods like Reindeer!
I’m thrilled to get the Finnish stamp of approval Joonas. Now, about that reindeer…
Reindeer is deeeeeeeeelicious! If you ever go to Finland (again?), please try Poronkäristys.
Simple to follow directions led to delicious complex flavors, we loved it! Thank you!
I’m so glad you liked it Bridget, I’m hoping to do more Scandinavian food this fall and winter season, I just love it.
this is so fresh, light, and delicious! a new fave
Omg – my son David (22) home from college – whipped up your salmon soup recipe in no time! He paired it with grilled lobsters & grilled eggplant & zucchini.
He cooked the soup so the potatoes & carrots were ‘al dente … and made the fish stock from the salmon skin according to your recipe. He only put in 1/2 the butter though – which we thought made it perfect!
He made two batches, it was so good – we sent one quart to our friend/neighbor.
We all highly recommend this recipe!!!
Wow, wish I could have sampled that meal! It looks like your son learned a lot at college 😉
Hi Sue saw a pineapple cake with crushed filling on your site but can’t get the recipe do you still have it
I have a few cakes with pineapple, Pippa, there’s the Hummingbird bundt or the Hummingbird Bars…let me know if neither of those are what you’re looking for.
I had a soup similar to this at the dining room of Hotel Arthur in Helsinki and it was fabulous. All the salmon in Finland was great. I look forward to trying this recipe….Sounds much the same.
I can imagine Finish salmon must be the best…hope you enjoy this soup too!
May I ask how do you make the broth?
Just read through the recipe Jo.
Has anyone tried freezing this soup? I have made it a few times and my family loves it. It would be wonderful if I could keep some handy in the freezer for quick lunches.
Found this on TheKitchn ~
Soups that contain milk or cream, like chowders and bisques, also don’t hold up well in the freezer — they tend to take on a grainy texture and separate when defrosted and rewarmed. While non-dairy milks like coconut milk hold up a little better, soups that are frozen with it still won’t be the same when defrosted either.
Follow this tip: Hold back any dairy or non-dairy milk or cream if freezing a soup that calls for it. Then simply add it in when you’ve reheated the soup.