Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink

A specialty of the fishing village Moray firth, Cullen Skink is a full-bodied chowder of potatoes and smoked haddock that inspires infinite interpretation by chefs and home cooks alike. Our version of this comforting soup, certain to become a fall favorite, highlights the tender Yukon gold variety.

Cullen Skink
Makes 4 to 5 servings
  • 8 cups water
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 4 cups Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound boneless smoked haddock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup finely diced sweet onion,
  • ½ cup thinly sliced leeks (white parts only)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • Garnish: chopped fresh parsley, fresh thyme
  1. In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt and potatoes. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain potatoes, discarding liquid.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add haddock; cook for 1 minute on each side. Remove haddock. Use a fork to flake one-fourth of haddock.
  3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in Dutch oven. Add garlic, onion, leeks, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, pepper, mustard, and remaining 1. teaspoons salt; cook
  4. until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and stir in potatoes. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes. Add three-fourths haddock, and simmer soup, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  5. To serve, ladle into bowls. Top with flaked haddock, and garnish with chopped parsley and thyme, if desired.
Note: If smoked haddock is not available, any smoked white fish may be substituted.

For more quintessential cuisine from Scotland, see “A Feast of Scottish Splendor” in the September 2019 issue, available at

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