Soil at Risk Lunch with top chef Henri Alén

Be prepared to cook yourself a delicious and environmental-friendly symposium lunch guided by top chef Henri Alén!

When I think about the quality of food, I think about its whole journey from the farm to the table. I consider where the food comes from, how it’s produced, and above all, what it tastes like, explains Alén, who is known for – for example – restaurants Finnjävel and Ultima (read more).  

See Henri’s Soil at Risk recipes and instruction videos below. Please feel free to modify the recipes. Use what you can find in your cupboards, garden and nearby water – and remember to minimize food-waste. Click here to see the recipes in finnish


Summer soup is a very Finnish dish. “If you don’t like summer soup, you’ve never tasted a good summer soup”, says chef Henri Alén.


  • 2dl dried broad beans, that have been soaked overnight 
  • 3 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed canola or olive oil 
  • Salt 

Rinse the soaked broad beans. Chop the garlic cloves and sauté them in oil in a cooking pot. Then add the broad beans and bay leaf. Add water so that the beans are covered. Then add little bit of salt. Simmer until cooked, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and strain the beans. Collect some broth. Add little bit of broth, and purée into a smooth paste. Season the purée with lemon juice, oil and salt.

  • 1 litre vegetable stock 
  • 2dl parboiled stinging nettles 
  • 10 small potatoes 
  • A piece of cauliflower and broccoli 
  • 1 bunch of spring onion 
  • 1 bunch of summer carrots 
  • Salt and white pepper 
  • Oil or butter 
  • 2dl whole milk or oat cream suitable for heating 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (e.g. parsley, tarragon, lovage) 
  • 1 bunch of radish

Chop the nettles and onions. Chop the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli into thumb-sized pieces. Sauté (just a little bit) the vegetables in oil or in butter in a cooking pot and add some salt. Then add the vegetable stock. Add some white pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Finally, add milk/oat cream. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Plate the soup. Add some broad bean paste on top. Garnish with fresh herbs, chopped onion stalks and radish.  


Famous pickled fish with vegetables is known in Finland as ‘Lasimestarin silli’ (direct translation being ‘Glass master’s herring’). ‘Lasimestarin silli’ is enjoyed throughout the year – here is a summer-style recipe for it.


  • 300g fish fillets: herring, roach or perch (or what you catch from the nearby water) 
  • Vinegar liquid 1: 1dl white spirit vinegar, 2dl water & 1 tablespoon sea salt 
  • Vinegar liquid 2: 1dl white spirit vinegar, 1dl sugar & 2dl water 
  • 1 fennel 
  • 1 red onion 
  • 2 carrots 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon allspice 
  • Herbs (like rosemary, thyme, parsley, dill) 
  • Cold-pressed canola oil or olive oil

Boil and then cool the Vinegar liquid 1. Pour it over the fish fillets and cover thoroughly. Place in the fridge overnight. The fish bones will dissolve in the vinegar. 

Boil the Vinegar liquid 2. Slice the vegetables. Sieve the fish out of the Vinegar liquid 1. Put fish, vegetables, and seasonings in a clean jar. Pour the Vinegar liquid 2 on them so that all the ingredients are covered. Let marinate in the fridge for at least a day. If you are not planning to eat the fish within a week, add a small amount of cold-pressed canola oil or olive oil on the top. This way the fish will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.


Children will be happy to help preparing chocolate plant pots! Fill the pots with your favorite delicacies to create different layers of soil and decorate with a piece of herb or an edible flower.


  • Pots: one chocolate bar (200g), 4 paper cups 
  • Filling: biscuits (for example Oreo, Digestive), chocolate (for example Kinder bueno), chocolate mousse, chocolate pudding  
  • Garnishing: herbs or edible flowers 

Melt the chocolate bar in the microwave or in a water bath. Spread the chocolate evenly inside the inner surface of paper cups. Harden the chocolate in the fridge or the freezer. Peel off the paper cups carefully to get intact chocolate pots. Fill the pots with chocolate pudding, biscuit crumbs, crushed chocolate and chocolate mousse to create different soil layers. Add crumbs of Oreo biscuits on the top. Place a “plant”, for example a piece of herb or an edible flower on the top.