Cullen Skink

Recipe Introduction:

Cullen Skink is a traditional Scottish smoked haddock recipe. It is a fine Scottish soup of great taste and simplicity. This Cullen Skink recipe was provided by Kris Burrin, the exceptional English Chef of The Seasons restaurant in Stonington.
Cullen Skink

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Cullen Skink


  • (Cullen Skink – Serves 4)
  • 1 lb Finnan Haddie.
  • 2 pints full fat milk.
  • 2 oz. butter.
  • 85 ml double cream.
  • 1 fresh bay leaf.
  • 24 oz potatoes cut into 1″ cubes.
  • 2 medium onions.
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley.


  1. Peel one of the onions, cut in half and put into a pan with the milk and bay leaf, bring just to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the Finnan Haddie and simmer for 4 minutes. Lift the fish out onto a plate and poor the liquid into a jug. When the Finnan Haddie is cool enough to handle, remove skin, flake into large pieces and set aside.
  3. Peel and finely chop the remaining onion. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes, until softened but not brown. Add the reserved milk and diced potatoes. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked but still just firm.
  4. Spoon out about half the potatoes, mash, and return to thicken. Add the double cream and Finnan Haddie chunks, season with a little salt and pepper and warm through for 1-2 minutes. Do Not Boil.

Cullen Skink Serving Suggestions:

Serve Cullen Skink in a warmed soup tureen, scattered with the chopped parsley. It is traditional in Scotland to serve with warm bread, on the side, to dip. Skink is excellent the next day if poured over sauteed bacon and gently warmed. Yummy! Enjoy!

One Response to Cullen Skink

  1. Michael Bannerman
    December 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    OK, I decided to use this recipe for my first attempt at making cullen skink, which I mention as a disclaimer. I used this one since it came from the person I bought the finnan haddie from. I reckoned that it would show off the flavour.

    I was correct. This recipe is really tasty–lots of seconds at the table. One of the best versions I’ve had of the soup. I will attest that it is worthy of a really super restaurant. but…

    It is really labour intensive if you are making this for yourself (especially in the clean up department)! Of course, the only non-labour intensive way to have it is to go to the Seasons Restaurant (the tinned variety isn’t as good).

    Also, I asked my grocer before attempting this, but don’t use soy creamer as a substitute for the heavy cream as it will not have the consistency.

    Anyway, that said, a recipe is merely a guide for how to make something. I’m going to tweak this recipe for something that is a little more “user friendly” for the non-professional chef.

    Although, I would say buy the finnan haddie and visit the Seasons Restaurant to try this!

    Let someone else do all the work and enjoy!

    Although, there is a sense of accomplishment from a job well done if you do make it for yourself!