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Finnish Salmon Soup – Lohikeitto

January 3, 2016 (Last Updated: March 4, 2020)

This Finnish Salmon Soup, known as Lohikeitto in the homeland, is to die for. Creamy and hearty, it is guaranteed to warm your soul on cold fall and winter days. Plus, it’s really easy and quick to make – ready in a half an hour!

Hearty & creamy traditional Finnish Salmon Soup - Lohikeitto. Warms you up instantly and it's really filling! #Finland #soup #salmon |

As an avid traveler, I have a list of my dream destinations. It’s sort of a bucket list. One of these places is Lapland, Finland’s northernmost region. Yeah yeah, the place where Santa Claus and his elves live! However our Christmas symbol is not the reason why I want to get there. Or at least it wasn’t the reason till my son was born three months ago. Now, it goes without saying that we would visit Santa’s village together! I can’t even imagine how happy my son would be there and it warms my heart to even think about it.

Beautiful Northern Lights in Lapland, Finland.

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in Lapland. Photo by Visit Finland, via Flickr.

Let’s get back to the main reason why Lapland is in my dream list. The Northern Lights. It’s the unforgettable light show, created by Mother Nature, which you can observe in the sky. In Lapland the Northern Lights are visible on about 200 nights a year! How awesome is that? I even have a fantastic place in mind where I would love to be while gazing at the night sky – these AMAZING glass igloos. I’ve just shed a manly tear while looking at this picture.


Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finnish Lapland.

There is one more thing you should know about Lapland. Winters are freezing cold and long there – the region lies north of the Arctic Circle. Temperatures can reach as low as -40°C or -40°F (the magical point when Celsius and Fahrenheit numbers are equal). Maybe that’s the reason why one of the region specialties is the hearty and creamy salmon soup called Lohikeitto (Lohi – salmon, keitto – soup in Finnish).

Why salmon? Well, Finland has an abundance of it. The Tana river, which flows through Lapland, is said to be the best salmon river in the whole world. Even the world’s record for the biggest Atlantic salmon is held by a fish caught in this river – it was 36 kilograms (79 lb). It’s something, isn’t it?

Hearty & creamy traditional Finnish Salmon Soup - Lohikeitto. Warms you up instantly and it's really filling! #Finland #soup #salmon |

I am actually a huge salmon fan.  Life without salmon is barely worth living to me. I love it seared, baked, smoked, grilled, poached, cured in salt, you name it. I enjoy it in salads, spreads, patties, chowders and of course soups! Needless to say, Lohikeitto was right up my alley. This Finnish salmon soup uses cream as a base and is made of salmon chunks, potatoes, leeks and generously garnished with dill. It doesn’t sound too fancy, but believe me, it has everything you need.

I used heavy cream but you can substitute it with lighter one. There are some versions of this salmon soup floating around the internet with cornstarch as a thickening agent, but the authentic recipe doesn’t use any thickeners at all. The traditional recipe uses fish stock, so did I. I’ve made it from the salmon heads and bones by myself but you can easily use liquid store-bought one. It won’t be a huge issue if you’ll use water instead of the fish stock too.

Hearty & creamy traditional Finnish Salmon Soup - Lohikeitto. Warms you up instantly and it's really filling! #Finland #soup #salmon |

To sum up – this salmon soup is definitely a winner. I can understand why it is so popular in Finland. It warms you up instantly and can keep you going all day long. Lohikeitto is full of flavor and has a wonderful texture. I’ve already eaten two plates of this goodness today. Thinking about grabbing the third one, but I probably won’t have enough space in my stomach. Bummer! It’s really filling! I don’t know about you – but this is my new soup favorite. Cold winter days are approaching but with Lohikeitto I am not afraid of them. At all.

Hearty & creamy traditional Finnish Salmon Soup - Lohikeitto. Warms you up instantly and it's really filling! #Finland #soup #salmon |

Finnish Salmon Soup - Lohikeitto

Creamy, hearty, and comforting, this Finnish Salmon Soup (Lohikeitto) is perfect for chilly fall or winter days. Ready in 30 minutes + really easy to make!
4.95 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 650kcal
Author: CookingTheGlobe


  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup or about 50 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 5 cups (1,25l) fish stock (can be substituted with water)
  • 1 lb (450g) potatoes, cubed
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 lb (450g) salmon fillet, de-boned, de-skinned and cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (10g) fresh dill for garnish, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Melt the butter in a pot. Add the sliced leek and saute until translucent, about 7 minutes.
  • Add the stock, carrot and potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat. At this point the potatoes should be almost ready.
  • Add the salmon chunks and the cream, and cook for about 5-7 minutes more, until it starts to boil.
  • Turn off the heat and add the dill, salt and pepper. Close the lid and wait for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!


Calories: 650kcal
Cuisine: Finnish


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  • Reply Scott August 9, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I was in Jacobstad all last week and had Salmon soup several times. I am going to try your recipe now that I am home. I may try to find a less hearty way of making it until the cold winter months.5 stars

    • Reply Igor August 15, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Let me know how you like it after trying, Scott 🙂 Oh, and thanks for stopping by to leave a comment!

  • Reply Susan August 21, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    I will definitely be making this soup. Thank you for sharing your recipe.5 stars

    • Reply Igor August 24, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Susan! I hope you will love it 🙂

  • Reply Viki August 22, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I had the opportunity to have Lohikeitto everyday last week in Market square – Helsinki, it was the first time for me to taste it. … can`t dare to describe it with words, … it`s more than YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMY, , i ll try your recipe when i get home.

    • Reply Igor August 24, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      I envy you so much, Viki! I would love to try this soup in its homeland 🙂

  • Reply Pete August 30, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    This recipe is sublime. Astonishingly easy to prepare and utterly delicious. My wife is a Finn and she enjoyed it enthusiastically, so I suspect you might have it nailed. Flawless victory. 🙂5 stars

    • Reply Igor September 6, 2016 at 5:43 am

      To get a compliment from someone from the country you are cooking is huge. I am so happy! Thanks for the comment, Pete!

      • Reply Evgeniy November 1, 2016 at 8:32 pm

        My wife is a Finn as well, and I just have cooked today the soup according to your recipe for her and her parents and it’s been fantastic. As somebody mentioned above, incredibly easy directions to follow and still tastes fantastic. In fact, everybody said it tasted amazing and wanted more, even though it’s been my first time that I even attempted to make it. I guess the trick would be to taste how much salt and pepper you need for the flavour if proportions aren’t may be exact as in the recipe but close anyhow. So thank you for sharing this! All the time I was thinking I have to rate this article and thank the person because this really was so easy but so good still.5 stars

        • Reply Igor November 11, 2016 at 7:50 pm

          I am so glad to hear it, Evgeniy! It’s awesome that you made it for the first time in your life and everybody love it 🙂 Thanks for getting back to comment, such compliments warm my heart 🙂

  • Reply Aaron September 2, 2016 at 2:23 am

    Hi Igor! I live in the Pacific Northwest portion of the United States, and we take our salmon seriously. Generally I don’t like to fuss with salmon too much, but this was one of the most spectacular recipes I’ve ever tried. A new favorite. Thank you SO much for sharing!5 stars

    • Reply Igor September 2, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Wow, I am so glad to hear that you liked it, Aaron. Thanks for reporting back!

  • Reply Grace September 24, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I recently came home from being an exchange student in Finland. When I came home I wanted to make this soup for my family because we ate it ALL the time in Finland. Your recopie is exactly like what I remember! Thank you so much for sharing! Kiitos!

    • Reply Igor September 27, 2016 at 7:01 am

      Grace, wow, I am so glad to hear that it’s similar to the one you had in Finland! It’s the best compliment for me. Thanks for taking your time to leave a comment! 🙂

  • Reply Pam Holland November 5, 2016 at 8:49 am

    My husband spent some time working in Finland and has talked fondly about this dish. I am looking forward to giving it a try as he says the photos look exactly like the dish he is used to!

    • Reply Igor November 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      I am sure you will love it, Pam!

  • Reply Lourdes December 17, 2016 at 3:06 am

    I made it with smoked salmon and cod, since that’s what we had…tasty!5 stars

    • Reply Igor December 21, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      Smoked salmon is an interesting addition, that’s for sure 🙂

    • Reply Liliya December 23, 2019 at 7:36 pm

      Delicious and easy to follow!5 stars

  • Reply Jennifer December 31, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Is the salmon cooked or raw for this recipe? Thanks!

    • Reply Igor January 1, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      You need a raw salmon which will cook in the soup 🙂

  • Reply Linda T January 6, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I am Finnish by extraction, and chose this dish to take to an International dinner in my parish. I used chicken stock in place of fish stock, went half cream with remainder half&half. I kept the cubes of fresh salmon to an inch to ensure cooking without curdling the cream and checked salt at the finish when adding that last dab of butter and dill. In spite of the tons of food available and my soup being on the last table…it was all gone. People raved and came back for seconds. For my first time making this I can say it’s a winner!!4 stars

    • Reply Igor January 10, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      I am happy you loved it, Linda!

  • Reply Alvaro January 13, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    I had this in Helsinki last year several times, delicious, I am making it tonight, thanks for thr recipe.5 stars

    • Reply Igor January 20, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      You are welcome, Alvaro!

  • Reply Nichole January 18, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    I live in Finland and made this tonight. I used rainbow trout (kirjolohi), since that what my husband and I prefer over salmon, and it was delicious. This, with a side of Finnish eye bread is the essence of Finland 🙂5 stars

    • Reply Nichole January 18, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      That should say “rye bread.” Eye bread sounds less than appetizing…

      • Reply Igor January 20, 2017 at 8:29 am

        Ha ha, yeah, I would prefer rye bread too 🙂 I must say that rainbow trout is quite popular in my country and it’s way cheaper than salmon. I have to try this soup with it. Thanks for the idea, Nichole!

  • Reply Angie Coons January 20, 2017 at 3:23 am

    I’m curious, do you add the whole cup of dill?
    Or is it just for garnish?

    • Reply Igor January 20, 2017 at 7:43 am

      It’s just for garnish, Angie 🙂 You can reduce the amount if you like 😉

  • Reply Lunaris March 2, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Great recipe, I have made it maybe ten times already. It never goes wrong and always delicious. Well done!5 stars

    • Reply Igor March 26, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Wow, ten times! I can understand you, though, because I made it well over 10 times myself and I just can’t get enough 😉

  • Reply Platter Talk March 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Gorgeous photos of the sky and food! I like this soup because the color reminds me of spring but has the powerful aroma and ingredients to stave off the chilly weather that is still here.5 stars

    • Reply Igor March 25, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      Yup, this soup is really amazing 🙂

  • Reply Jesse T March 21, 2017 at 4:38 am

    I just made this tonight and it was amazing! The directions are perfect! I spent a few days in Finland and had this stew in Suomenlinna and immediately thought ‘i must make this’. Your recipe captured my experience perfectly. I will make this for the family!

    I used whole milk instead of the heavy cream to reduce calories and it was still delicious, but I might use 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 heavy cream next time just to up the creaminess. Well done!

    • Reply Igor March 25, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks, Jesse! I am so happy that the recipe turned out well for you and you loved the soup! 🙂

  • Reply Kell Koch June 3, 2017 at 1:26 am

    This is my favorite soup recipe of all time.. I make a big pot about 1 time every 2 weeks .. I even eat it the next day for breakfast after the flavors have had a chance to develop!

    thanks!5 stars

    • Reply Igor July 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      I know, right? This soup is something out of this world!

  • Reply eija rougle October 22, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Great pictures & recipe! Here in New York my grandsons (age 8 and 3) declared that LOHIKEITTO is their FAVORITE dish. They learned to love it after spending the summer in Finland.5 stars

    • Reply Igor November 16, 2017 at 9:07 am

      Wow, it’s such a nice feeling when my recipes are made even in New York! One of my dream places to visit 🙂

      It’s great that your grandsons eat salmon because it’s really healthy!

  • Reply Rayna November 7, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    I usually only have this soup once a year when we visit my in laws in Helsinki. I made your recipe and it is delicious! Thank you for sharing!5 stars

    • Reply Igor November 16, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      You are welcome, Rayna! It’s totally worth having it more than once a year 😛

  • Reply Maria from Atlanta, GA November 15, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    WOW this soup is FANTASTIC!!! I think I must have come across it on Pinterest. I honestly don’t remember, but it was so good I have added it to my most favorite dishes to have on rotation. Thanks so much for the delicious recipe with such beautiful photos!5 stars

    • Reply Igor November 16, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      You just made my day, Maria! Lohikeitto is one of my most if not the most favorite soup for a reason 😉

  • Reply Jacqueline January 4, 2018 at 1:26 am

    We were in Helsinki earlier this year and I fell in love with the soup. So glad this recipe replicates it nicely. Delicious, lots of flavor and texture. Only thing I added was 2 bay leaves in the stock and 3 whole allspice beans (kernels?), both of which I removed before I added the salmon and cream (actually used half and half). Will definitely make again.

    • Reply Igor March 21, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      It’s really hard to not fall in love with Lohikeitto 🙂

    • Reply Outi August 4, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      Jacqueline, they are allspice berries.

      I haven’t made this soup yet but the pictures certainly look right and the recipe looks authentic. I will meke this soup tomorrow and come back to update!5 stars

  • Reply Ruth January 17, 2018 at 3:15 am

    Hi there. This is one of my favorite Finnish dishes that I crave whenever I visit Finland– have been about a dozen times because of my ex + dear Finnish friends I still have– and I can’t wait to try it tomorrow 🙂

    Quick question: do you think it would be OK to use bone broth (chicken stock) in lieu of the fish stock? I couldn’t find fish stock in my area. Or do you think it would be better to just substitute water for the fish stock vs. the chicken/bone broth?

  • Reply Meg March 6, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    After working in a number of resorts in Lapland last winter, this was my favourite dish by far! After reminiscing and wishing I was back there, I decided to see if there was a recipe for these traditional homemade soups and bring a bit of Finland back here. I am SO glad you’ve posted this. It tastes AMAZING! So super easy to follow, and tastes so similar! I used vegetable stock as I couldn’t get my hands on fish stock, and used dried dill. Still fabulous! 😁5 stars

    • Reply Igor March 21, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Meg! Working in Lapland, huh? Lucky you! I am sure it’s a gorgeous place 🙂 This soup never disappoints 🙂

  • Reply Rob L June 10, 2018 at 9:04 am

    I had some for the first time in Helsinki last night.Outrageously good.Thanks for the recipe it ‘s certainly one to try when I get home.I’ve sent this link to a friend of mine in France and she’s going to make some today.What a find.Thank you

    • Reply Igor August 1, 2018 at 9:16 am

      I never get tired reading comments about this gorgeous soup. Everyone loves it! Thanks Rob! I am pretty sure your French friend adored it too 🙂

  • Reply msdeannaf July 20, 2018 at 5:49 am

    absolutely delicious, i can’t even

    • Reply Igor July 31, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      It’s the most popular recipe on the blog for a reason 😉

  • Reply VellA January 22, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Can I add tomatoes in it?5 stars

    • Reply Igor March 5, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Feel free if you want to 😉

    • Reply Outi August 4, 2020 at 8:37 pm

      Just don’t call it a Finnish soup, then.5 stars

  • Reply Igor March 5, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    It says 5-7 minutes, and you can always leave it raw if you like it this way 😉

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