Lohikeitto (Finnish Salmon Soup)

December 22, 2021
25 Ratings
Photo by anka
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is a traditional Finnish salmon soup recipe; it's easy to make and tastes heavenly. Many recipes for it can be found online, and this is just one of them.

Test Kitchen Notes

This version of lohikeitto, a creamy fish chowder, comes together quickly and is popular throughout many Nordic countries. You'll really enjoy this recipe, which features leeks, potatoes, and carrots. Many iterations can be found, but this one sticks to the basics. All you need is one large saucepan, which definitely helps with the cleanup. Making your own fish stock at home is highly recommended, but you can use any store-bought kind if that seems like way too much effort. As the developer mentions, fish stock cubes work as well. As many stocks and broths vary in terms of seasoning, be sure to taste as you go and adjust the salt and pepper amounts as needed. Pair this soup with a crusty bread and some white wine, and dinner is ready to go.

This soup is also as straightforward as it gets. First, cook the leeks until wilted, then add the potatoes, carrots, and stock. Let them boil away for about 10 minutes. Add the salmon and cream, then let that simmer away for about 5 minutes. Doesn't get much easier, and after some chopping, a majority of the cook time is totally hands off. We liked the ratio of veggies to fish as written here, but you can definitely change up the amounts depending on what you have on hand. Any additions will make this a less authentic version of lohikeitto, but that's okay too. Whatever you decide to add or subtract from this recipe, it's the perfect soup to make on a cold winter's night. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 leek, trimmed and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups fish stock or fish stock cubes
  • 1 pound potatoes, cubed (2 to 3 cups)
  • 1 carrot, sliced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 pound salmon, cut into large pieces
  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped dill, for serving
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes, until wilted.
  2. Add the stock, potatoes, and carrots. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened and fork-tender, depending on the size of the vegetables.
  3. Add the salmon and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the soup among bowls. Top with the dill.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Paula Wilson
    Paula Wilson
  • MartinDeBourge
  • Hmoshman
  • Kristin Hertko
    Kristin Hertko
  • Cynthia Bessonen
    Cynthia Bessonen

28 Reviews

EzzieB January 9, 2024
This soup is delicious ++++. So glad I found this recipe. I’ve shared it with friends and they all agree it’s easy and so tasty.
I don’t put in the cream to make it healthier and use the entire leek as it’s so full of vitamins. Also, if I don’t have fish stock I use low salt chicken stock which sounds odd but still tastes really good.
[email protected] August 19, 2023
I found the dish highly under seasoned. It was easy to make, but lacked flavor. It is also very rich, could have used less butter and cream. I was disappointed.
Paula W. April 9, 2023
This was quick and easy. It is also delicious! I didn't have fish stock, so used vegetable broth and it worked well. Next time I will try it as written. The fresh dill is essential!
MartinDeBourge March 4, 2023
Thank you SO much for this great step by step recipe. I have now prepared it twice. The second time I tripled all the ingredients for a larger gathering of Finns. And let me tell you, not being Finnish had me a bit nervous to brave the preparation of such a hallowed meal. It was a wild success and I am now an honorary member of LAFF. I'll make it again for the even larger gathering at the Pasadena Tupa!
Hmoshman March 2, 2023
This recipe is simple and quick. I added dried dill in the end. I found that 1 lb. Potato was too much. I prefer half this (1 potato). I don’t know what is 35% cream. I added 1/2 cup whipping cream and that was good. I did not use the full amount of butter. Though I didn’t use the full amount of butter and cream (I already get plenty of fat in my diet and didn’t feel the need for more), I didn’t feel like I was missing out.
MartinDeBourge March 4, 2023
35% cream is indeed Heavy Whipping Cream ;-)
Kristin H. December 26, 2020
This tastes delish and is so easy to make. I think in the future I'd pull back on the potatoes a bit to leave room for a couple pieces of toasty bread on the side. And don't skimp on the butter--it's worth it.
Cynthia B. October 14, 2020
This was so good! We’ll be adding this to our rotation.
Cynthia B. October 14, 2020
Trying to delete my review because I didn’t add my stars. Can someone please help?
kitchendiva July 24, 2020
I first ate this dish sitting on the deck of an old wooden boat in Helsinki harbour along with a slice of rye bread and a glass of red wine - this dish takes me back to that happy day whenever I make it - thank you! I ate it several more times during our time in Helsinki and the butter seemed always to be an intrinsic part of the dish.
Shannyb433 December 31, 2020
I know the exact spot! I have recreated this soup as well - and the comments from my boyfriend were the same!
01cranshawt January 26, 2020
INCREDIBLE! Such a simple dish but so flavoursome, thanks so much!
Emily T. January 17, 2020
This recipe has waaaay too much butter (you can even see it in the photo, all that yellow oil) and offers no suggestions for seasoning the creamy broth.
Chris N. January 17, 2020
I think the amount of butter is perfect, but, try cutting that amount in half...will still probably be great! I did not think that the broth needed any seasoning beyond what is in the recipe...the simpler, the better for me! 😊 I used ‘seafood stock’..maybe that had enough seasoning on its own...
Mr. K. March 21, 2020
Beautiful soup and reminiscent of my childhood and my grandmother’s cooking. The butter is in a typical proportion, as is the seasoning—or general lack thereof. That’s very traditionally Finnish, however you’re free to adjust to your taste. But for those who may have had this prepared by their older generation Finnish family, this is spot on.
Outi August 4, 2020
Tfhis is the traditional Finnish salmon soup from way back when fancy spices hadn't yet made their way to Finland. I have not made this yet but the recipe looks very authentic, just like my dad used to make it. If you want to make something different, be my guest; I just ask for one favor: don't call it Finnish.
Kalki86 December 17, 2019
Got to love that soup! Really easy to prepare. I added a little liquid smoke and wild pepper to give it a twist. And don't forget enough salt. If you let it sit, the potatoes will absorb a bit of the saltiness.
Tessy August 1, 2019
What would be a good wine for pairing with this soup? I'm making sourdough rye to go with it too.
anka August 1, 2019
I would say your fevered dry white wine, for me, I don’t know if is a perfect pairing, but I like Pinot Grigio.
Babaganoush February 20, 2022
Thumbs up for the rye bread. Even better if you can make it a traditional coastal "black bread": a dark, malty, slightly sweet and sticky, not that sour. That's your best friend for gravlax, too. Just some butter and gravlax, topped with fresh dill and a little peruvian pepper if you want to go totally bonkers :)
Tina K. March 28, 2019
A little too much butter. The fat ends up as a thick layer that floats in top and doesn’t look appetizing. But amazing flavor and simple recipe! :)
Chris N. August 1, 2018
This was so easy and good! Under 30 minutes to make from start to finish...I saved time by having the ‘fish peddler’ cut off the salmon skin...used seafood stock..might add rutabaga and/or turnip next time too...
anka August 1, 2018
Thank you, Chris! I'm so glad you liked it.
Babaganoush February 20, 2022
I wouldn't recommend rutabaga for its strong and tangy taste. Try replacing some of the potatoes with parsnip, instead. It adds another dimension to the taste but is mellow enough not to overpower anything. That's a very traditional variation of this soup. In Nordic kitchens, rutabaga finds its place more in meat dishes with rich stocks.
Rosey December 22, 2017
Thank you for sharing! I'll be making this on Christmas Eve :)
anka December 23, 2017
Thank you , I am so pleased to hear this! Have a Marry Christmas!
Niknud October 25, 2017
This looks delicious!
anka October 25, 2017
Thank you!
Taste delicious and it is so easy to make.