While Finland may be far, far away from the Mediterranean, this dish, which I demonstrated at a recent webinar on brain health, is nonetheless very much in keeping with Mediterranean diet principles, supplying healthy fats, vegetables, herbs, high-quality protein, and a broad range of micronutrients.
Best of all, it’s super-quick to prepare and oh-so comforting, making it ideal for anyone recovering from illness, as well as anybody who craving a bowlful of fragrant, warming comfort.
Finnish Salmon & Shrimp Chowder (Lohikeitto)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 medium leeks cut into 1-inch lengths and soaked in a bowl of cold water to rinse out any soil residue
- 1 medium stalk celery finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 4 cups chicken bone broth or fish stock, if you can find it
- 8 oz red-skinned potatoes preferably organic (as we’re leaving the skin on), cut into ½-inch cubes; if non-organic, peel
- 1 medium-large carrot finely cubed
- 1 lb skin-on salmon remove the skin (don’t discard it – you will use it to flavor the broth) and cut the fish into 1-inch cubes
- 8 oz raw shrimp (can be frozen) peeled (if you don't eat shrimp, increase salmon to 1½ lbs)
- ½ cup heavy cream use cashew cream if you don't tolerate dairy; it's easy to make from scratch
- 1-2 tbsp potato starch to bind and thicken the soup base; use more or less, depending on how thick you like it
- a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- a dash of Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce optional, but a great way to enhance the flavor of the soup if you're using chicken broth; my favorite brand is Red Boat
- ½ cup fresh dill chopped; reserve a few larger fronds for garnish
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks, celery, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken bone broth (or fish stock, whichever is used), potatoes, carrots, and salmon skin. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are soft (pierce with a fork to test for doneness). Remove salmon skin and discard.
- If using heavy cream, pour into a small bowl and stir in 1-2 tbsp potato or cornstarch; mix until smooth. (If using cashew cream there's no need to add thickener as cashew cream thickens naturally when it is cooked.)
- Add the cubed salmon, shrimp and cream and bring back to a simmer. Cook until the salmon and shrimp are done, around 2-3 minutes. Gently stir in the chopped dill.
- Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and fish sauce (if using the latter).
- Divide the soup among bowls. Garnish with reserved dill fronds and serve immediately. In a tightly sealed container, this keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge.