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Cullen Skink Soup Recipe: Scottish Smoked Haddock Soup
How To Cook Cullen Skink Soup - Traditional Scottish Recipe
But First, What is Cullen Skink? Cullen Skink is a traditional Scottish soup made with Finnan Haddie (smoked haddock), onions and potato.
The dish originates from Cullen, a Morayshire fishing town located in North East of Scotland. Skink is a soup usually made from shin of beef, however, the main ingredient of Cullen Skink is the Finnan Haddie. Cullen Skink is often called Smoked Haddock Chowder outside of Scotland.
Cullen Skink was originally a broth made from shin of beef. The hard times that befell the folks of Northern Scotland in the late 1800s meant that beef was a luxury that could not be afforded. At that time, Cullen was a thriving fishing village that also specialized in the production of smoked haddock. Smoked haddock was cheap and in plentiful supply and replaced beef as the dishes main ingredient. When combined with other local produce Cullen Skink as we know it today was born
Cullen Skink Recipe: Serves 4
- 1 large smoked haddock fillet with skin on (if you can’t get Finnan Haddie any smoked, undied haddock fillet will do)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 Bay leaf
- 9oz (250g) potatoes, washed and peeled
- 600ml milk (1 UK pint or 1 and ¼ US pints)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp single cream or half and half (optional)
- Pour the milk into a large saucepan along with the smoked haddock and the bay leaf.
- Bring the milk to a slow boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. (This allows the smoky flavor to thoroughly infuse the milk.)
- Remove the smoked haddock and the bay leaf from the milk. Put the haddock to one side, the bay leaf has done its work and can be discarded.
- Strain the smoke infused milk through a fine sieve to remove any fish skin that may have detached during the cooking process.
- Heat the unsalted butter in a saucepan, add the onions and cook gently until translucent. Take care not to burn them. (The flavor of burnt onions will spoil the taste of the soup.)
- Add the milk to and potato the onions and stir regularly.
- Keep stirring until the potatoes are cooked and start to break down. This will create a thick, creamy consistency to the soup.
- Flake the smoked haddock into good sized chunks taking care to removing the skin and any bones you may find in the process. Add the flaked haddock to the soup.
- Return the soup to the heat and bring back the Cullen Skink to a gentle simmer and serve piping hot.
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