Cullen Skink – Scottish Smoked Haddock Soup

Smoked haddock. Leeks. Creamy potato. There’s so much to love about this soup, I can’t believe I’d never attempted it before!

This story starts (as all good soup stories should) in a pub in Edinburgh where I saw Cullen Skink on the menu and noted down the name to look up when I got home, as we weren’t eating (read: we were very much drinking).

And I’m glad I did! After some research I made this using smoked haddock, leeks, onion and potatoes and this is hands down the most delicious soup I’ve ever tried. Just look at it, it’s full of your hopes and dreams. And fish, lots of fish.


Ingredients (serves 4)

3 smoked haddock fillets

2 medium sized potatoes

1 small leek

1 small white onion

About a pint of milk

200 ml water

25g butter

Bay leaf

1 teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and chop your potatoes into small cubes (about an inch big). Trim, peel and wash your leek and then cut into chunks – ideally keeping as much of the green part of the leek as possible as this adds colour, and also kind of adds a great green taste (just me?). Peel and dice your onion finely.

In a large flat pan, place your fish fillets and cover with milk, paprika, bay leaf and a bit of butter and a little water until the fish is about 80% submerged. Heat slowly and baste the fish with the liquid so that it cooks evenly – about 10 minutes and it should be flaking into the liquid so take it out. Don’t throw away your milk mixture!

In a separate deeper pan gently sauté your onions and leeks together in a little oil and then add the potatoes. Cover with water until potatoes are just submerged and cover slightly with a lid (this is important!). Keep an eye on them – you basically want most of the water to boil down and your potatoes to cook and to leave an almost vegetable-stock like residue from the leeks and onions which is really savoury.

Once the potatoes are cooked, add some of your fishy milk mixture to this and mash lightly with a potato masher. You just need to rough mash it so it’s not too chunky and not too smooth. Add the remaining milk including the bay leaf and just double check how much liquid you have and add more milk or water if necessary.

Flake the fish into chunks and add in right before serving. Enjoy!



Liked it? Pin it!

Cullen Skink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *