Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink

Growing up, our mum would cook fishcakes or kedgeree for my sister and I every Tuesday without fail after the fish van had visited the village. In ode to ‘Fish Tuesdays,’ I stopped off at House of Bruar after a weekend in the Cairngorms and picked up some beautiful smoked haddock from local Scottish producers; ‘Inverawe Smokehouse.’ The family business still implement traditional smoking methods and age-old skills to retain the real taste of properly smoked Scottish fish.

The slightly less distinguished sibling to New England clam chowder or French bouillabaisse; traditional Scottish ‘Cullen Skink’ is a real winter warmer soup made from smoked fish, tatties and leeks. Good quality smoked haddock and cream make this a clear winner in my eyes to that of its American and French counterparts.


Serves 4

500g undyed good quality smoked haddock, skin on
500ml milk
2 bay leaves
3 shallots, diced
1 leek, washed to remove grit & finely sliced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbsp salted butter
50ml white wine
400ml chicken stock
100ml double cream
1tsp wholegrain mustard
4 eggs, for poaching
1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Pour milk into shallow pan, add smoked haddock, bay leaves and bring to simmer for 8 minutes.

  2. Remove haddock, set aside and retain the milk.

  3. Fry a small handful of the finely chopped leeks in a frying pan with a little oil until crispy. Pat dry with kitchen towel.

  4. Cook potato in pan with butter for several minutes before adding the shallots and remaining leeks. Sauté till soft and translucent.

  5. Add stock, cream, retained milk and white wine to the pan and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

  6. Season with sea salt, pepper and a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard to taste.

  7. In a separate pan, poach your eggs for 4 minutes in simmering water with a splash of white wine vinegar.

  8. Using a hand blender, blitz the soup and pass through fine sieve.

  9. Remove the skin from the fish, flake haddock into decent sized chunks and season with squeeze of lemon.

  10. Ladle soup into bowls, top with flaked haddock, poached egg and crispy leeks.

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