Creamy Lohikeitto (Salmon And Potato Soup) Recipe

When you are looking for a meal to warm your bones, it makes sense to look to a country where winter is long and harsh. Enter lohikeitto, a traditional Finnish salmon soup, made with fragrant leeks, tender potatoes, and rich cream. Lightly seasoned with a touch of allspice and a hint of lemon zest, it is a stew which you will return to throughout the colder months. The subtle flavors perfectly balance to make a dish that is both hearty and light, with a subtle, nuanced flavor.

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This recipe is not only a delicious salmon stew; it is also an introduction to zero-waste cooking. Eschewing a box of broth or bouillon cubes, salmon scraps, leek greens, and carrot peels (all which typically end up in the garbage) make for a rich flavor base. By making the broth ourselves we can reduce our environmental impact a bit while also ensuring the base of our stew is positively delectable.

Gather the creamy lohikeitto (salmon and potato soup) ingredients

For this recipe you will need leeks, carrots, garlic, salmon scraps, butter, Yukon gold potatoes, salmon, allspice, lemon zest, and cream. Once you have all the ingredients, you can start trimming the vegetable and making your zero-waste broth.

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Step 1: Trim the vegetables

Trim leeks and peel carrots, reserving the dark green leek tops and carrot peels. Thinly slice leeks and cut carrots into ½-inch rounds.

Step 2: Start the broth

Add the leek greens, carrot peels, salmon scraps, garlic, and water to a large pot over high heat.

Step 3: Boil and skim

Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim any albumin (small white salmon protein pieces) with a spoon or small strainer.

Step 4: Remove the solids

Scoop and remove solids from the broth with a wire mesh strainer and discard. Transfer broth to a large bowl, add salt to taste, and set aside.

Step 5: Saute the vegetables

Return the pot to the stove. Over high heat, and add the butter, leeks, and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Boil the potatoes

Add the potatoes and broth to the pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.

Step 7: Poach the salmon

Add the cubed salmon and simmer for 3 minutes, until just cooked. Remove from heat.

Step 8: Add the cream

Stir in the cream, lemon zest, and allspice. Add salt to taste.

Step 9: Garnish it up

Serve hot and, if using, with dark rye bread on the side and a chopped dill garnish.

How do you trim leeks?

Leeks, with their subtle, distinctive flavor, add a delicious oniony layer to many dishes. Being far from the most common ingredient, they can be intimidating to take on. And, given the loose, sandy soils in which they are grown, they can be difficult to trim. But don't worry, once you learn a few simple tricks, trimming and cleaning leeks is a breeze. After you're comfortable trimming leeks, you can even move on to stuffing them.

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The first step to trimming a leek is to slice off the top, at the point where the leek darkens, as the darker green portion of the leek is too tough to eat. It should be discarded or can be used, like in this recipe, to flavor a broth.

The next step is to wash out any sand which may be between the leaves. Because of the aforementioned growing conditions for leeks, there can be quite a bit. Slice the leek through lengthwise from the base to the top, then rotate 90 degrees and slice it again. Once sliced as such, it is easy to rinse between all of the leaves and make sure you get all of the sand. And there you go, one trimmed leek.

Where can I get salmon scraps for broth?

While boxes of stock and jars or cubes of bouillon for soup are perfectly acceptable, nothing beats making the broth yourself. Using only bones, scraps, and peelings, you can make a wonderful broth to serve as the base of your soup or stew. But what scraps can you use and where do you find them?

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Just about any vegetable scrap makes a perfect addition to the stock pot. In this recipe, we rely primarily on carrot peelings and leek greens to flavor the broth, as well as salmon scraps. But really any bits of vegetable you have left over while cooking will work great. Onion tops and lemon peels, for example, make great additions to broth, depending on the dish. 

When it comes to making broth with animal products, the situation is not so different. Scraps of meat, skin, and bones all work well to impart rich flavor to a broth. For this recipe, we use the salmon skins as well as bits of salmon meat which were set aside by the fishmonger. These little bits are often free or very inexpensive, so asking for scraps often means coming home with fixings for an amazing broth while spending little to no money.

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Creamy Lohikeitto (Salmon And Potato Soup) Recipe

5 (41 ratings)

The secret to this recipe is a zero-waste broth made from vegetable and fish scraps. This Finnish soup also gets subtle seasoning from allspice and lemon zest.

Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
servings
8
Servings
bowl of lohikeitto
Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 leeks
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 pound salmon scraps (skin, bones, filet scraps)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 8 cups water
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 pound salmon filet, skin removed and cut into to bite-size cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

Optional Ingredients

  • Chopped dill
  • Dark rye bread

Directions

  1. Trim leeks and peel carrots, reserving the dark green leek tops and carrot peels. Thinly slice leeks and cut carrots into ½-inch rounds.
  2. Add the leek greens, carrot peels, salmon scraps, garlic, and water to a large pot over high heat.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim any albumin (small white salmon protein pieces) with a spoon or small strainer.
  4. Scoop and remove solids from the broth with a wire mesh strainer and discard. Transfer broth to a large bowl, add salt to taste, and set aside.
  5. Return the pot to the stove. Over high heat, and add the butter, leeks, and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the potatoes and broth to the pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
  7. Add the cubed salmon and simmer for 3 minutes, until just cooked. Remove from heat.
  8. Stir in the cream, lemon zest, and allspice. Add salt to taste.
  9. Serve hot and, if using, with dark rye bread on the side and a chopped dill garnish.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 477
Total Fat 31.9 g
Saturated Fat 13.9 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 111.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.2 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Total Sugars 3.7 g
Sodium 1,204.4 mg
Protein 26.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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