Rich, creamy and packed with amazing flavour Cullen Skink is Scotland’s version of fish soup and is a classic in its own right. Comfort food Scottish style.
What is Cullen Skink?
Don’t you love the name of this soup, Cullen Skink. It always makes me think that it should refer to a cartoon character, but actually, the name comes from the east coast village of Cullen in Scotland and ‘skink’ is the old Scots word for essence or soup.
Cullen Skink is delicious and easy to make. It is based on smoked fish and potatoes and a few other easy-to-assemble ingredients. Sometimes the simplest dishes are really the best.
In places outside Scotland this dish is sometimes called smoked haddock chowder.
I made this traditional Scottish fish soup for my book A Wee Taste Of Scotland where you’ll find over 50 fabulous Scottish inspired recipes for party food.
Ingredients for Cullen Skink
Finnan Haddie/haddock or actually any smoked haddock will be just fine.
Onion and potatoes plus milk and butter. That’s it for the main ingredients. Waxy potatoes are best for Cullen Skink.
Salt and pepper and a bouquet garnet of herbs to add extra flavour to your delicious Scottish fish soup..
How to make Cullen Skink
Put the haddock, chopped onion and water in a small pan along with the herbs and bring this to the boil.
Cover the pan and reduce the heat to a nice simmer for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes nicely.
Take the fish from the pan and remove skin and bones. Set aside the fish flesh and toss the skin and bones back into the pan and simmer this uncovered for 20 minutes. This really adds amazing flavour to this tasty fish soup.
Strain this fish stock and discard all the solids. Now pour it back into the pan and add the chopped potatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the potatoes and mash with the butter.
Add milk to the pan and bring to the boil then reduce the heat and add in the mashed potatoes and the flaked fish.
Check your seasoning and serve sprinkled with chives.
How to serve Cullen skink
I serve mine alongside crusty bread as a hearty lunch dish.
Or in little ramekins with tiny pieces of toast as a soup sip for parties. These are perfect for Hogmannay/New Year’s Eve and Burns Night parties.
This Cullen Skink soup will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Looking for more tasty soup recipes to see you through the colder months? Then check these out before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Traditional Scottish Cullen Skink Soup
- 350 g haddock finnan haddockor any other smoked haddock
- 1/2 onion chopped
- Bouquet Garnet
- 250 ml water
- 150 g potatoes peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 150 ml milk
- 10 g butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- chives chopped to decorate
- Put the haddock, chopped onion, water and bouquet garnet into a pan and bring it to the boil.
- Cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
- Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and remove the skin and bones. Reserve the cooked fish flesh and toss the skin and bones back into the pan.
- Simmer this uncovered for 20 minutes to create a lovely rich fishy stock.
- Strain this fish stock and disscard the solids. Pour the stock back into your pan and add the chopped potatoes.
- Simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and cooked through.
- Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and mash them in a bowl with the butter.
- Add the milk to the pan and bring to the boil.
- Add the mashed potatoes to the pan and stir well.
- Now add the flaked fish, season well and serve with a sprinkling of snipped up chives.