Lohikeitto: Traditional Finnish Salmon Soup

In general I’m disappointed when I think of fish in Finland. Growing up as a Kiwi, eating lemon shark, warehou, snapper, king fish etc it’s difficult to get enthusiastic about ahven, kuha or muikku (perch, zander or vendace apparently).

I say “in general”. There is one thing that, if I ever moved away from here, I would dearly miss: Salmon.

Don't you love that coral colour?

Honestly, I don’t remember if it tastes different in NZ, but I suppose it must. I am at least sure that I never liked salmon in the land of the long white cloud. And here, well, if I go without it for a couple of weeks I start pining for it.

Traditional Finnish food is very often “peasant food”. Simple and hearty. And this soup is perhaps one of the most traditional of Finnish meals. And precisely fits that definition. Simple, hearty and delicious.

The summer's harvest.

Dill. I dunno why we don't use this in NZ: it's anis flavour suits fish so well. Looks like a lot but it's pretty mellow by the time it's in the soup.

  • 1 generous¬†handful of chopped fresh dill
  • about 500g of salmon fillet, skin removed and diced into bite sized chunks
  • a couple of carrots, diced
  • a handful of potatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 (gluten free) fish stock cube (or equivalent)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place a large (5L) pot of the stove top, add a drizzle of olive oil alone with the onions and a touch of salt and pepper.
  2. Turn to a medium heat and sweat the onions until they’ve soften but not taken colour.
  3. Add the potatoes and carrots and top up with water until 3/4 full (probably 2L or so).
  4. Leave to boil for 20 to 30 mins or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
  5. Add the cream and salmon and leave for 5 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked through.
  6. Add the dill and leave for a further minute or so.
Dish into a great, big bowl and enjoy.


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