How to make Cullen Skink

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How to make Cullen Skink
Cullen Skink, similar to a chowder, is the ideal hearty meal to eat on a cold winter's day. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

One of Scotland’s most prized national culinary treasures, Cullen Skink originated in Cullen, a small fishing village in Northeast Scotland. A hearty soup traditionally made with smoked haddock, potatoes and onions, “skink” means soup or stew and is similar to chowder.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 850 mls / 1.8 pints full fat milk milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (save the stalks)
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 500 g /1.1lb Smoked haddock fillets
  • 6og/ 2.1oz butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 200g/8 oz mashed potatoes
  • Salt and Pepper

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  1. 1

    Use a large saucepan (big enough to hold all the fish) and pour in the milk along with the parsley stalks, bay leaf, peppercorns, and fish. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the flavours marry for another 10 minutes.

  2. 2

    Take out the fish from the liquid and set aside. Flake the poached fish and remove any of the excess skin and bones from the fish. Strain the poaching liquid and set aside.

  3. 3

    In another deep saucepan, heat the butter and sauté the onion and leeks until soft and translucent. Add the strained poaching liquid and stir. Next add in the mashed potatoes. Season well with salt and pepper.

  4. 4

    Mix together so the consistency becomes thick and creamy. Add the chopped parsley and fish, simmer for another seven minutes. Pour into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.

Tips and warnings

  • Substitute cream for whole milk if you are feeling decadent.
  • Some recipes call for a poached egg on top as a garnish.

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