Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink, a traditional Scottish recipeCullen Skink is a simple hearty soup made with potatoes, onions, and smoked haddock.

This traditional Scottish recipe is tasty and warming, with a creamy texture and a deep smoked flavour, extremely easy and quick to make.

Haddock is the predominant fish of choice in Scotland in fish suppers, and Cullen Skink is often served as a starter.

Cullen Skink is originally a local speciality from the small fishing village of Cullen, in the Moray firth, on the north-east of Scotland, where this soup is most popular. The word Skink derives from the Old Western Germanic word Skink or Scencan, which means to pour, although some sustain that it comes from a Gaelic word for essence.

If available use preferably Finnan haddock, but any other smoked fish will do. Finnan haddock is a form of cold, peat-smoked haddock named after the fishing village of Finnan (also known as Findon), on the south of Aberdeen.

Cullen Skink Recipe

Recipe for 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


500g smoked or Finnan haddock, skinned, free of any bones, and diced (You may also use a whole fresh smoked haddock..»)
250g potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
300ml water or fish stock
500ml milk
45ml (3 tablespoons) double cream
50g butter
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley for garnish
Seasoning (salt and black pepper)

Cooking directions:

1) Melt the butter in a large saucepan and cook gently the onion for 3 minutes until soft.
2) Add the potatoes and cook for 1 minute.
3) Add the stock and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
4) Add and stir in the haddock, milk, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of parsley.
5) Place a lid on the saucepan and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
6) Add the cream, season to taste, and bring it to a strong simmer.

To serve:

Distribute the hot soup among 4 soup bowls, sprinkle over the remaining parsley, and serve with scones or crusty brown bread.

Are you using a fresh haddock?

If you are using a fresh haddock you'll need first to remove the skin and the bones, therefore adding 40 more minutes of preparation time.

1) Place the whole haddock in a saucepan with 1 litre of water and bring to boil.
2) Add the chopped onion and simmer for about 15 minutes until the fish is cooked and the flesh comes away from the bone.
3) Put the flesh into a dish and break up the fish into flakes, to be used later.
4) Put skin and bones back in the saucepan, season, and simmer for 30 minutes to create fish stock.
5) Strain the fish stock and discard the skin and bones.
6) Add the butter and potatoes into the fish stock and follow Cooking directions from point 3).

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