Recipe: Scottish Cullen Skink


Delight in the rich and comforting flavors of Scotland with this authentic recipe for Cullen Skink. This hearty soup hails from the fishing town of Cullen in Northeast Scotland and features smoked haddock, potatoes, onions, and cream. Cullen Skink embodies the essence of Scottish coastal cuisine, showcasing the fresh seafood and wholesome ingredients that are integral to traditional Scottish cooking.

History of Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink has humble origins, rooted in the fishing communities along the Scottish coast. Originally a simple dish made by fishermen using leftover fish trimmings, Cullen Skink evolved into a beloved soup enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. The name "skink" is derived from the Middle Dutch word "schinke," meaning shin or knuckle of beef, reflecting the dish's rustic beginnings.


  • 500g smoked haddock fillets
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 500ml fish stock
  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Poach the Haddock: In a large pot, place the smoked haddock fillets and cover with cold water. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat and poach the fish for about 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Remove the fish from the pot, reserving the poaching liquid. Flake the haddock into bite-sized pieces, discarding any skin and bones.

  2. Cook the Potatoes and Onions: In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the diced potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.

  3. Simmer the Soup: Pour in the fish stock and reserved poaching liquid (strained to remove any impurities). Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

  4. Combine the Ingredients: Add the flaked haddock to the pot. Pour in the milk and heavy cream. Stir gently to combine and simmer for an additional 5 minutes to heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Serve: Ladle the Cullen Skink into bowls. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

Serving Suggestions

Cullen Skink is traditionally served with crusty bread or oatcakes. Enjoy this soul-warming soup as a starter or a main course, especially on cold winter evenings. Pair with a glass of crisp white wine or a light ale to complement the delicate flavors of the smoked haddock.

Keywords and Hashtags

#ScottishFood #CullenSkink #ScottishCuisine #SeafoodSoup #ScottishRecipes #TraditionalSoup #ScottishCooking #FishermanFood #Scotland

Embrace Scottish Culinary Heritage

Experience the coastal charm of Scotland with Cullen Skink, a timeless dish that embodies the flavors of the sea and the warmth of Scottish hospitality. This recipe allows you to recreate a taste of Scotland in your own kitchen, celebrating the culinary traditions that have sustained communities along the Scottish coastline for generations. Serve Cullen Skink with pride and savor the authentic flavors of Scottish cuisine!