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
I just returned from Finland and had Salmon Soup from a few places and loved it and I knew it would be very easy to make. Reading your recipe confirmed it and I followed it and the soup turned out exactly like what I had in Finland. I love the fact that it’s so full of good saturated fats like butter and heavy cream and I used raw milk versions which made it even more nutrient-dense and delicious. I made the broth with bones of 4 very big Alaskan wild King Salmon so it was extra sweet and full flavored. It was an Omega3 bomb! Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂
Love this, we could all use an Omega3 bomb!
This became my number one soup! My favorite! So delicious and so easy to make at the same time! My kid also likes it a lot
Yay, so glad this was a winner for you and your kiddo!
I use Shrimp brand fish sauce, available at Asian markets, about 1 tbs for 4=5 cups of water, seems to work well, (when I have skinless salmon).
A friend sent me this recipe and I wanted to test it out before serving to my picky household, so I made a half batch for just me. Oh my! It’s delicious. So good and so easy! Definitely will go in the rotation. For now, I’m happy to have it all to myself!
I love this soup, so easy and good. And I love the fish stock hack!
Love this recipe! My dad is from Finland and when we go there we always have this soup. I had a hard time finding a recipe that tasted close enough to what I could find in Finland. But this does it for me!! It is simple, light (not in calories — LOL), and the flavors come through beautifully. Thank you so much!!! Love it!
I’m so happy, thanks Jennifer!
I have made this soup several times following the recipe exactly, using the fish skins to make a broth. And it is so delicious! The whole family loved it and my daughter always asks me to make it now.
I made this soup with olive oil and it was very good! I will cook this soup again and again . From now on I will be saving the fish skins for future stock which is impossible? to find. Thank you Sue, on behalf of the whole family!
Hi Sue, This soup looks yummy! Do you have the nutritional value? Thanks! Linda
I’ll get that for you.
Would it work to take skin off of cooked salmon and then use it to make fish stock? It’s easier to remove from cooked fish that is why I am asking. Thank you! It looks delicious and I plan to try it.
I haven’t tried that Sandy, I think it would impart less flavor, but you could try.
The meat department will remove the skin for you just ask,I`m sure they would be happy too.