The name of this rich, tasty soup comes from the fishing village of Cullen, in Morayshire. "Skink" is a soup made originally from a shin of beef. But in this case, the main ingredient is smoked haddock. While normally I think only of corned beef and cabbage in March, my cravings have been for Scottish rather than Irish fare. Perhaps it’s because March “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” and lambs make me think a whole lot about Scotland. Rather ironic that I was given this wonderful Cullen Skink recipe from an old Irish friend who’s hiding in Dublin and will be hiding from St. Patrick’s Day mayhem there by visiting Edinburgh. Thanks Aine Moire for the recipe and happy Scottish St. Pat’s to all.
2 smoked haddock fillets, chopped into pieces between 1 and 2 inches.
2 tbsp butter
1 c par-boiled potatoes, roughly chopped.
1 1/2 c of milk
1 c of double cream
1 large chopped onion
1 large chopped leek
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
Melt butter in a large saucepan before adding the chopped onion and leeks. Sweat these for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the stone to the onions and leak.
Pour in the milk and cream and add bay leaf. Allow the mixture to heat through.
Add the chopped smoked haddock and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add the chopped potatoes and simmer for a further 5-6 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper according to taste. The smoked haddock is strongly flavoured so be careful not to over season.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
It is important to cook the smoked haddock gently to avoid the fish breaking up into smaller pieces. Be careful to remove the stone and store it for later (and be careful of bones). Best served with crusty bread.