What are some traditional Finnish soups and stews?

Kalakeitto. Creamy soup with salmon, potatoes, onions and carrots and in a bowl. Finnish/ karelian cuisine. Lohikeitto. Top view, flat lay

Introduction: Traditional Finnish cuisine

Finnish cuisine is a reflection of the country’s history, geography and climate. Traditional Finnish cuisine is typically simple, hearty and uses local ingredients such as fish, meat and vegetables. Finnish cuisine is famous for its delicious soups and stews, which are served throughout the year and often enjoyed as a main course. Finnish cuisine is also known for its use of rye bread, berries and dairy products like cheese and yogurt.

The role of soups and stews in Finnish cuisine

Soups and stews play an important role in Finnish cuisine, especially during the winter months when the weather is cold and snowy. Finnish soups and stews are hearty, warm and filling, making them perfect for cold days. They are also a great way to use up leftovers and turn them into a new and tasty dish. Finnish soups and stews are often served with rye bread, which is a staple of Finnish cuisine, and sometimes with a dollop of sour cream on top.

First on the list: Kalakeitto (Fish Soup)

Kalakeitto is a traditional Finnish fish soup that is made with salmon, potatoes, carrots, leeks and cream. The soup is typically seasoned with dill, which gives it a fresh and light taste. Kalakeitto is a popular dish in Finland, especially in coastal areas where fish is abundant. The soup is usually served with rye bread and butter, and sometimes with a side of pickled herring.

Next up: Hernekeitto (Pea Soup)

Hernekeitto is a hearty Finnish pea soup that is made with dried peas, pork, onion, carrots and potatoes. The soup is typically served with a side of mustard and rye bread. Hernekeitto is a popular dish in Finland and is often served on Thursdays, which is known as “pea soup day” in Finland. The soup is also a traditional dish for Christmas Eve dinner.

A hearty stew: Karjalanpaisti (Karelian Stew)

Karjalanpaisti is a traditional Finnish stew that is made with beef, pork, potatoes, carrots, onions and sometimes turnips. The stew is typically seasoned with allspice and bay leaves, which give it a distinctive flavor. Karjalanpaisti is a hearty and filling dish that is perfect for cold winter days. The stew is often served with lingonberry jam and rye bread.

Conclusion: Exploring Finnish cuisine through soups and stews

Finnish soups and stews are an important part of Finnish cuisine and are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Kalakeitto, Hernekeitto and Karjalanpaisti are just a few examples of the delicious and hearty soups and stews that are part of Finnish cuisine. Whether you’re exploring Finnish cuisine for the first time or you’re a seasoned traveler, a bowl of Finnish soup or stew is the perfect way to warm up and enjoy the flavors of Finland.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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