Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Recipe: Cullen Skink (Scottish Fish Soup)

Cullen skink is my favorite Scottish soup, made from smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. Whenever I see it on the menu in the restaurant, I would always order it. Super comforting and especially good on a cold winter's evening.

It is a local speciality from the town of Cullen in Moray, on the north-east coast of Scotland.Skink is an old Scots word for 'soup-stew'. The soup is commonly served as a starter at formal Scottish dinners, though many families in NE Scotland also have it as an everyday dish. Definitely something you can make and serve for Burns Night or the upcoming St Andrew's Day.

I've always wanted to make cullen skink, however smoked haddock is a rarity in KL. In the UK however, you can get this easily, at supermarkets or at the fishmonger. An authentic Cullen skink is made using finnan haddie (ie cold smoked haddock with green wood and peat), however any kind of smoked haddock could be used to make it these days.

The onions are first softened, then potatoes are added and sauteed. The milk and cream gives the soup its creaminess and richness. The smoked fish only needs to heated through slightly, then removed to be cut into chunks. Before serving, I roughly mashed the potatoes - this helps thicken the soup and also gives the soup differing textures. Remember not to season the soup too much, as the smoked haddock itself is quite salty and will help flavour the soup.

Incredibly simple to make and deliciously comforting. Do make a bigger portion so that you will have leftovers, as it tastes even better the next day :)

Recipe Video here - how to make cullen skink (watch in full screen here)

Cullen Skink (Scottish Fish Soup)
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4-6

1 tbsp olive or cooking oil
400g potatoes, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
450g smoked haddock, skinned
300ml boiling water
425ml full cream milk
Freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp double cream (optional)

1. In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, until the onions have softened.

2. Add the potato and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add the water and milk, then place the fish on top. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove the fish and set aside.

4. Gently simmer the broth at low heat for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. Season the broth with some salt and pepper. Do not overseason as the fish is quite salty and will help flavour the broth once it is added back in.

5. Meanwhile, cut the fish into thick chunks, and remove any bones.

6. Add the fish back into the broth and stir in about 3 tablespoonfuls of double cream, if desired. Using a potato masher, gently mash some of the fish and potatoes. Season again with more salt, if required.

7. Serve warm with some crusty bread.

Another brilliant Scottish soup recipe you can check out is Scotch Broth. Click for recipe.

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  1. Going to bookmark this and try this in winter - we can get smoked haddock quite easily here in Sydney luckily! I love fish soups! Instead of water can you use stock instead? I have some seafood stock just begging to be made, from leftover prawn and crab shells and a salmon head!

    1. Hello Peggy! Of cos you can use fish stock if u have that too! Hope u enjoy this ;)

  2. Had fabulous cullen skink at Two Fat Ladies in Glasgow - so yummy �� Any idea where I 'd find smoked haddock in KL ?


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