Lohikeitto- Finnish Salmon Soup

Although I’m a huge fan of seafood, I make it much less often than I’d like.  I’d dog-eared this recipe but wasn’t sure I’d have time to go to my favorite fish market to buy the salmon.  The market’s not particularly close to where I live and there’s never parking available…. like EVER.

But I found myself running errands around that part of town on Saturday, happened to end up on the same block as the market and saw that there was not one, but two parking spaces out front.  Even better?  When I got inside I saw they were running a special on Salmon filet.  It’s like the universe aligned for me… for about five minutes anyways.

This isn’t a flashy recipe, just a good, basic salmon soup with a cream base.  Or, you could consider it a potato and leek soup with a salmon upgrade.  Just be sure to add enough salt to make the flavors pop and top it with plenty of fresh herbs.  I tried both parsley and dill.  My recommendation?  You can never go wrong with the salmon and dill combination.


Lohikeitto- Finnish Salmon Soup

Yield: 4 servings


* 3 Tablespoons olive oil
* 1 leek, chopped (white and light green part only)
* 3 cups plus 1 Tablespoon water, divided
* 1 bay leaf
* 3/4 pound potatoes, cubed and peeled
* 3/4 pound salmon filet, skinned, de-boned and cut into small chunks
* 3/4 cup cream (I used half and half)
* 1 Tablespoons cornstarch (up to 1 1/2 Tablespoons if you'd like the broth thick)
* 1 Tablespoon butter
* salt and pepper
* fresh parsley or dill for topping
* lemon wedge (optional)


Heat the olive in a large saucepan and saute the leek until softened. Add 3 cups of the water and the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and carefully add the potatoes. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Add the salmon and and simmer for five minutes. Add the cream and stir to mix. Make a cornstarch slurry with the cornstarch and 1 Tablespoon of water, stirring to dissolve the cornstarch. Add to the soup and simmer until the soup has thickened.

Add the butter and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with plenty of fresh parsley or dill. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, if desired.

    Pin It

9 Responses to “Lohikeitto- Finnish Salmon Soup”

  1. #
    Jeff Rasmussen — January 11, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Looks good to me! Is it more of a chowder…or a soup? I suppose it all depends on the the amount of veggies you add. But still, looks like you've nailed it!


    • CATE — January 12th, 2012 @ 7:48 am

      How about we call it a chowder-like soup? :) You're totally right… it is more of a chowder… I just called it soup because the recipe it's adapted from called it a soup. Just had another bowl tonight for dinner- super good!


  2. #
    Sea Cuisine — January 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Leeks are the unsung hero of soups and stews. Used here in this simple yet hearty stew with potatoes, you've brought us a delicious-looking and versatile meal for those cold days in winter. We're thinking it can work perfectly well as a frozen salmon recipe, with these ingredients handy in your pantry.


  3. #
    Anonymous — January 31, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    We had this at work today. We have “favourite-food-week” at restaurant-cafeteria. This was the only thing that was gluten-free.

    I don't think the starch is necessary, by the way. And Scandinaviand & Finns do love dill.


    • CATE — February 1st, 2012 @ 9:08 am

      You're right, the starch probably isn't totally necessary… I just like my soups nice and thick ;)


      • Paulina — March 31st, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

        As a Finn, I’d like to point out, that the soup isn’t traditionally thickened with starch. If the stock is made from the salmon heads and bones, as is traditional, the connective tissue from the bones will add richness to the stock on its own, and the potatoes contain starch of their own, too. The fish bone broth is rich enough, where I don’t feel a need for cream. Any old milk will do (I prefer whole milk, but 2% milk is not unheard of). However, at the heart of things, this soup is definitely more “watery” than thick and creamy.

        (I still can’t stomach chowders. They’re just too thick for me, and very rarely is the seafood thoroughly cleaned. I can get over the creaminess, but the grit… My preference is a bit of a travesty for my New England in-laws, I’m sure! ;) )

  4. #
    lellipus — April 20, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Thank you for this recipe! I'm going to try your recipe this time and see if it's as good as it sounds :) Still, I think I'm going to replace the leek with regular yellow onion (more traditional I think). Hanna from Finland


  5. #
    marissa munoz — December 4, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Hey there! I was an exchange student in Helsinki/Espoo region and my host parents made this all the time for me because it was my favorite finnish dish =) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    It is quite similar to what my host parents used, but I tried your version and it was just as delicious!


  6. #
    Marcia — September 27, 2016 at 6:15 am

    What are the things on the plate? :)


Leave a Comment