Cullen Skink

This soup originates from the East Coast of Scotland. Skink is Gaelic for "essence" but it is now more commonly means "soup-stew. This is a simple and quick version of cullen skink, traditionally it should be prepared with Finnan (whole smoked haddock), I have also included a few mussels to finish the dish but of course these are optional.

4-6 Portions
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes


Cullen Skink

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g floury potatoes
  • 500ml water or stock (chicken, fish or vegetable)
  • 400g smoked haddock fillet, roughly diced into 2-3cm pieces
  • 16-20 mussels
  • 200ml milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • moldan salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

  • 1-2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Herb and Stilton Scones (see recipe)
  • or freshly buttered slices of bread


  1. Cullen Skink: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauce, add the onion to the pan and sweat them for a few minutes until soft. Add the potato, water or stock to the pan and bring it to the boil, then reduce to a strong simmer, and leave it cook for 10 minutes until the potato is tender. Gently stir in the smoked haddock and place the mussels on the top of the soup. Place a lid on the soup and allow it to simmer gently for a couple of minutes, to allow the mussels to open. Any mussels that don't open discard. Pour in the milk and bring it to a strong simmer. Remove the soup from the heat and gently stir in the butter, and season to taste. Serve.
  2. To Serve: Distribute the soup among 4-6 soup bowls. Sprinkle over a little parsley and serve with scones or slices of bread with pepper.