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.”

JOONAS

salmon soup with spoon
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3.54 from 495 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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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

Nutrition

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 theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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108 Comments

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  • Reply
    Michael
    May 14, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    5 stars
    Well this recipe is just astounding in its simplicity, base ingredients and phenomenal aroma and flavours on the palate. Having travelled Finland and know a few of the locals, I see this dish as a local Nordic fisherman’s daily fare at the end of a long back-breaking day, much like a Bouillabaisse Soup is to a French fisherman. Perhaps over the years however various Chefs have ‘enhanced’ the base recipe (especially with Bouillabaisse). BUT Sue’s recipe is ‘Elegant in its simplicity’. The initial step of Leek and Butter is magnificent and the butter flavours permeate as a base flavour throughout the whole soup with the Dill and cream. BUT don’t rush it I think as the slower cooking of the potato and carrot will make it ‘melt in your mouth’! I was also really surprised at how the Salmon and the Allspice were not too overpowering either! SO the overall balance of the dish is subtly understated – even after I put in 25g (not 10g) of Dill into it, I had two packets (& it didn’t kill it)! But overall the butter, heavy cream, dill and salmon just blend so subtly into a beautiful dish, that has vegetables melting in your mouth as you enjoy glorious salmon! Overall the dish is both uncomplicated in its making and superb on the palate! The key recipe instruction for me was #5 – “…the flavours will mature and get even better!”; so I cooked this at 10am and had it for dinner at 7pm, and again the next day! Stupendous! So all I can say is ‘Go for it’!

  • Reply
    Elen
    April 22, 2020 at 1:03 am

    5 stars
    Once seasoned it is an awesome soup!

  • Reply
    Denise Muscat
    April 13, 2020 at 3:14 am

    Hi I don’t have fresh dill but dried dill. How much do I use in this recipe? Many thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 13, 2020 at 7:32 am

      The dried will be stronger in flavor, and won’t give the soup that hit of freshness, so I’d be sparing with it. Start with a teaspoon and go up from there, to taste.

  • Reply
    LiLi
    February 28, 2020 at 10:03 am

    5 stars
    This soup is delicious, I added a bit of smoked arctic char to the recipe (and used the skin for the stock).

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 28, 2020 at 10:16 am

      I love smoked fish, great idea!

  • Reply
    Christian Brix
    January 25, 2020 at 11:47 am

    5 stars
    Made this just over a year ago for my girlfriend and me but neglected to leave a comment at the time. It was absolutely amazing though, fantastic recipe! There was enough left over for me to bring some to work the next day for lunch, and it met with hearty approval from my Finnish colleague! I’ll be making it again very soon for some friends, and I’m sure they will love it as much we do. Thanks very much!

  • Reply
    Nikki Moranville
    January 7, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    5 stars
    Sue, made this last night for dinner (used fresh dill but not nearly as much as a cup!) It was absolutely delicious – and my sweet 93 year old mother who is with us for the moment because she fractured her back, wanted a bowl for lunch!! And that’s a miracle because for the last 6 weeks she’s had no appetite. So thank you. Not just from me, but from this whole house.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 7, 2020 at 7:57 pm

      I love stories like this Nikki, I hope your mom keeps up that appetite.

  • Reply
    Peter
    December 26, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Thinking of trying this with 2 substitutions, olive oil for butter and soy milk for the cream. I would need to lighten it up as suggested by the substitutions. Opinions?
    Thx

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 27, 2021 at 6:36 am

      I’m always in favor of creative experimentation when it comes to food, so go for it, and let us know how it works out 🙂

    • Reply
      Jennifer R
      September 18, 2021 at 7:29 pm

      Peter, I also don’t eat butter or milk but made this with vegan butter and a homemade cashew cream (blend well a cup of raw cashews and 3 cups water until creamy, about 5 min) it was fabulous.

  • Reply
    philip jones
    November 20, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Hi, this recipe looks fantastic but I can not eat Dill, so you think a 1/4 cup of tarragon would work instead or do you have a different idea maybe fennel ?

    Thanks

    Phil

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 20, 2019 at 11:43 am

      Fresh tarragon might be really nice, but I think you’d use less of it, it’s pretty strong. Let me know how that works out if you try, I adore tarragon!

      • Reply
        Philip Jones
        November 23, 2019 at 8:33 am

        5 stars
        I made it last night used an 1/10 to an 1/8 cup of fresh tarragon and no garnish and it was superb.., now I have a taste profile from eating it I may reduce the tarragon further and add a little fennel. It’s a fantastic dish – thanks for relying -P

  • Reply
    Christine C
    October 7, 2019 at 9:56 am

    5 stars
    I have made this soup several times, following the recipe exactly, and it is now a favorite of mine! Not only do I find it delicious, but my children do as well. I have to double the recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    deb
    September 24, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Hi, Can this delicious soup be frozen?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 24, 2019 at 1:31 pm

      I don’t think cream soups can be successfully frozen Deb, sorry.

      • Reply
        Ann
        December 24, 2019 at 7:03 am

        I always freeze it. No problem. However, I use half and half not heavy cream…

        • Reply
          Sue
          December 15, 2020 at 4:09 am

          Thanks Ann, good to know!

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