The first time I enjoyed Cullen skink was a day we were touristing in Windsor, England. Windsor castle and its beautiful grounds truly are worth a day’s visit, and it’s only a short train ride from London. At lunch time we walked the quaint town of Windsor, and found a gorgeous and seemingly non-touristy pub. That’s when I saw Cullen skink on their menu and had to try it. It was delicious!
Cullen skink is a Scottish creamy fish soup, traditionally made with smoked haddock. Cullen is a town in Scotland from whence this dish originated.
Smoked haddock is known as finnan haddie. But while doing some online research, I discovered Arbroath smokies offered by Scottish Gourmet USA. The haddock are salt-dried and hot-smoked, and are highly recommended for a variety of dishes, including Cullen skink. The smokies are fished and smoked in Arbroath, Scotland, which explains the name.
I got the basic cullen skink recipe from BBC Good food, but adapted it somewhat. All I can say is I’m buying Arbroath smokies again! The soup is outstanding.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion
15 ounces cooked medium potatoes, peeled if necessary
10 ounces smoked haddock, or 2 Arbroath smokies
12 ounces 1/2 & 1/2
Parley and chives, finely chopped, to taste
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion. Sauté gently until translucent.
Chop half of the cooked potatoes, and mash the other half; set aside.
Pull pieces of the haddock after removing the skin from the fish, avoiding the bones.
Put the haddock pieces in the pan with the sautéed onions and cover with 1/2 & 1/2. Cook for 5 mins. Add the chopped and mashed potatoes. Heat through.
To serve, sprinkle with parsley and chives.
Serve with crusty bread, if desired.
Here is more interesting information regarding Arbroath smokies from the Scottish Gourmet USA website.