Cullen Skink - Scottish fish soup

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Executive Chef
Nov 16, 2004

This serves 4-6, depending on appetites.
1 lb Finnan haddie or if you can't get Finnan haddies, any smoked haddock
1 onion finely chopped
1 pt (600 ml) fish or chicken stock
8 oz thin small leeks, finely chopped
8 oz cooked and mashed potatoes
2 oz butter
1 pt single cream
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper to taste
parsley to garnish

Put haddock and onion in a shallow saucepan and JUST cover with cold water. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer gently for about 10 minutes until the fish is tender. Strain and reserve the liquid, but discard the onion.

Remove skin from fish and flake. Retain the skin and bones (if it wasn't filleted) to put with the reserved liquid. Bring it to the boil and simmer for about 10 mins. Strain again and discard skin and bones. Mix the remaining liquid with the stock in a large pan. Bring to the boil and add the leeks. Boil until tender. Mix in the butter and mashed tatties until mix is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat cream and egg yolk together until smooth and add to the soup. Stir until it is heated through, but ensure you don't let it boil or it will curdle. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot with crusty granary bread.
Another favorite!

Haddies are hard to be had here in the states, Ishbel, and I usually make mine with smoked salmon... ;)

This is such a hearty soup!!
Thanks for that recipe! It sounds SO goooood. I think that I will try that this weekend! I'll let you know how it turns out :)
Guess what I am eating???? lol

YES! I am eating this soup - and it's very yummy indeed! Thanks for the recipe Ishbel :)

I did make a few changes to it :)

I left out the leeks because I don't like them. I guess that I loose some flavour that way tho.

I discared the chopped onion but put them back again at the point where I would have put in the leeks as a replacement for the leeks! I didn't cook them any longer. They were at the translucent state but still had some bite and thought it would give the soup a bit of character.

Didn't use as much fish stock as directed or cream. I used about half a pint of fish stock because I thought the flavour was good enough. I used about 1/4 pint of cream because I felt that if I put in any more it would be a little too creamy for my taste and would detract from the fish flavour for me.

Great soup! Thanks again for the recipe. It turned out very well :) All your recipes seem very good. I never knew there were so many great Scotish recipes so thanks for the rest of them too!
That's the nice thing about cooking, isn't it? I mean taking a recipe and changing it to suit your own tastes. That cullen skink recipe is my family one, but I bet every family in Scotland has a slightly different variation of the soup!

How can you NOT like leeks? I love them, and so many Scots dishes have leeks as an ingredient, I'd be lost without them.

Yes, Scots cuisine is wonderful - even though I 'lighten' a number of the dishes I cook because as most people know, Scotland is the Heart Attack capital of Europe :?

I am a great fan of a number of Scottish chefs and food writers such as Catherine Brown, Nick Nairn, Sue Lawrence, Gordon Ramsay, Lady Claire MacDonald.
I was surfing today and landed at the site of Three Chimney's in Scotland. They listed Cullen Skink on their menus and I was so curious as to what that was! I don't have to post the question because you've answered it!

What exactly is Cullen Skink? Can you put that in American english? I would love to serve it at a dinner party but be able to translate to my guests!
Cullen is a place in Scotland. 'Skink' was a traditional Scottish soup made from shin of beef (known locally as skink) - Cullen was by the sea - so I suppose that it was a tongue in cheek way of talking about a fish soup!!

Finnan Haddies are smoked haddock - a special way of smoking them in Findon, Aberdeenshire - but in the absence of a finnan haddie, any smoked haddock would do a turn 8)

The food at the 3 chimneys is amazing! It's one of my favourite restaurants. Have you been there, or are you planning a visit?
Thanks for the information! I am going to serve a Scottish supper for some friends. I will have the menu on the invite to get them curious!!!

I have not been to 3 Chimneys but would love to go there some day. I just came across the web site by accident and fell in love with the menus they have posted!!

I am going to buy one of the cookbooks. By the way, another food that intrigued me was the potato scone. I can make a wonderful cream scone but how do you make potato scones?!

I will do my Scottish supper sometime in late Jan. I intend to serve Cullen Skink, potato scones, hot marmalade pudding with Drambuie custard and assorted Highland cheeses, if I can get my hands on some. By the way, any other good recipes that would go well with this menu?
Tattie Scones - or Potato Scones (btw - scone in Scotland is pronounced to rhyme with gone, not stone!)

Here's my granny's recipe - this is a traditional part of a good Scottish fried breakfast, which would include Larne sausage, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, fried bread, black pudding, mushrooms, link sausages and maybe mealie pudding - all or any combinations of these ingredients!

POTATO SCONES (Tattie Scones)

1 lb potatoes (very 'floury' textured ones work best)
1.5 oz butter
Salt/pepper to taste
4 oz (approx) plain flour

Boil potatoes in salted water, drain and mash with the butter until light and fluffy, adding salt/pepper to taste.

Work in the flour. A word of caution, only add in enough to make a stiff dough - cannot be more precise as it depends on the moisture content of the potatoes used!

Turn the mixture out onto a floured board, knead very lightly (don't handle the dough very much at all) and roll out into a square. Cut into triangles (the traditional shape) or use a 2 inch scone cutter.

Lightly oil a traditional girdle (sort of like an old-fashioned griddle, made of iron) or a good, heavy based fryingpan. Cook the scones on a medium heat for about 5 mins a side, or until they are golden brown.

These should be eaten hot, or spread with butter later if there are any left.

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