Finnish Salmon Soup (Lohikeitto)

Finnish Salmon Soup – Lohikeitto ~ this simple salmon and potato soup is the ultimate 30 minute spring meal, with a light cream broth, melt-in-your-mouth chunks of salmon, and tons of fresh dill!

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!

a bowl of Finnish Salmon Soup – Lohikeitto

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.
  • butter
  • allspice ~ unexpected to the American palate, but wonderful!
Finnish Salmon Soup – Lohikeitto in a soup pot with ladle

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.

Finnish Salmon Soup – Lohikeitto ~ in a white bowl with spoon

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 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.”


salmon soup with spoon
3.55 from 499 votes

Finnish Salmon Soup – Lohikeitto

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!
Course Soup
Cuisine Finnish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 576kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 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.

Cook’s notes

  • 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!
*I lightly adapted this recipe from Cooking the Globe


Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 174mg | Sodium: 193mg | Potassium: 1165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4190IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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  • Reply
    Shannon Schrauwen
    August 27, 2019 at 4:14 am

    5 stars
    Had Lohikeitto when we visited Helsinki, and now that we live here I insisted that this be one of the first Finnish food we made! I have been craving it since I first tried it. And this recipe definitely hit the spot! Definitely will be making it more often!
    Loved the recipe! Easy to make. Used fish spice instead of allspice.
    Thank you for the easy and authentic recipe!

  • Reply
    Kate Tognarini
    August 10, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    5 stars
    We just came back from Finland and my daughter mentioned how much she misses this soup. So, at a family lunch I decided to bring Finland to Australia. This soup was an absolute hit and everyone loved it. Easy to make, it will now be a regular dish for us. Our local fish monger even makes his own fish stock so there’s no excuse. Thank you for the wonderful and very authentic recipe.

    • Reply
      August 10, 2019 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks Kate, that’s great to hear. When we lived in New England we had a local fish shop and I miss it so much, here in Los Angeles I haven’t found one. I’m glad this soup could help keep your trip memories alive 🙂

  • Reply
    May 3, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Do you have a non-dairy version that is not soy milk? I love this soup, but have become sensitive to dairy products.

    • Reply
      December 15, 2020 at 4:11 am

      I haven’t personally made this with non dairy milk, but you might try something mild like almond milk.

  • Reply
    William Cavin
    April 27, 2019 at 11:31 am

    I am a hopeless novice cook. So well documented and absolutely gorgeous. Thanks

    • Reply
      April 27, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      I hope you give it a try 🙂

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Finland is not a part of Scandinavia. It is a Nordic Country. There is a difference which matters to Finns. Lohikeitto is a great soup, and your recipe closely resembles the soup I frequently enjoyed when living in Finland.

    • Reply
      March 10, 2019 at 9:53 am

      Point taken, I just corrected myself 🙂 Thanks Anne!

    • Reply
      August 4, 2020 at 12:25 pm

      5 stars
      Kiitos Anne!

      I have’nt made this recipe yet but it looks authentic to me…

  • Reply
    Ann Sarimo
    February 26, 2019 at 10:34 am

    5 stars
    Hi. I’m from Santa Monica but my husband is Finnish. We live in Helsinki where this soup is a staple. We normally eat it at restaurants but when it’s made at home, it’s my husband who usually is doing the prep. Tonight he was busy with work stuff so I decided to try a recipe with the intent of blowing him away with my own home prepped Lohikeitto. Yes…an LA gal can make the best salmon soup there is. Thankfully I found your great recipe and it had all the right ingredients. The allspice and bay leaves are a must for extra flavor in the stock. Also, fish stock with a splash of veggie stock is essential. Anyhow, this is an absolute winner recipe and I’ve tasted plenty of authentic Finnish salmon soups. I’m so glad I found your site. 🙂 I look forward to trying more.

    • Reply
      February 26, 2019 at 11:37 am

      Love this Ann, and yes, we LA gals can rock salmon soup 😉

  • Reply
    Nino Goginashvili
    February 19, 2019 at 8:19 am

    5 stars
    I just finished cooking and it’s delicious <3 Thank you for!
    I'm thinking to serve it with spied butter & bread 🙂

  • Reply
    Ian Corker
    December 22, 2018 at 7:46 am

    5 stars
    We bought a whole salmon and filleted it. We boiled the backbone and head and removed the flesh when cold. Then followed the recipe. Great.

    • Reply
      December 22, 2018 at 7:49 am

      Omg that sounds amazing.

    • Reply
      August 4, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      5 stars
      Thank you for doing it right!

  • Reply
    Erkki Paunonen
    December 17, 2018 at 3:24 am

    5 stars
    Thank you! Was great- especially the fish skin broth. I also added one fish fond “du chef” and plenty of salt.

  • Reply
    November 24, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Hi. Would this work without the cream?

    • Reply
      December 15, 2020 at 4:13 am

      It would be fine, although possibly a little less satisfying. You could beef up the veggies.

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