Cullen Skink – (Finnan Haddock and Potato Soup)

Cullen skink (Finnan haddock and potato soup) comes form a small town on the Moray Firth coast called Cullen. Traditionally it is made with Finnan Haddock on the bone but a boneless smoked haddock or other smoked white fish can also be used. The soup is made with potatoes, onion and Finnan haddock with milk added to the fish stock. Cullen is a small town in North east of Scotland and the home of one of Scotland’s most famous dishes, Cullen Skink. Cullen Skink recipe is also known as Smoked Haddock Chowder in other parts of Britain.


  • 700 ml milk
  • ½ cup/ small handful flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 450gm undyed, smoked haddock fillet
  • 55gm butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 250g mashed potato
  • Salt and pepper


  • Pour the milk into a large saucepan. Remove the leaves from the parsley and add the stalks to the milk. Finely chop the leaves and keep to one side. Add the bay leaf and the haddock.
  • Bring the milk to a gentle boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove the haddock from the milk and put to one side. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and reserve the liquor.
  • Heat the butter in another saucepan, add the onions and cook gently until translucent about 5 mins, taking care not to burn them.
  • Add the liquor to the onions, then add the potato and stir until incorporated to create a thick, creamy consistency.
  • Flake the smoked haddock into meaty chunks taking care to remove any bones you may find. Add to the soup.
  • Add the chopped parsley leaves to the soup and bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve

Garnish with more chopped parsley or a little extra pepper. Sometime Cullen Skink is served with a softly poached egg on top for an even more filling soup or lightly poached quails eggs dropped into the soup before serving adds a sophisticated touch.

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