Cullen Skink Recipe – Traditional Scots Soup

While on a recent holiday up to the north of Scotland, I tried Cullen Skink. It was delicious, so I tried my hand at cooking some myself. It is a thick fishy creamy soup according to a traditional scottish recipe. Mine likely differs from the original but ended up tasty all the same, if a little yellower than usual due to my choice of dyed fish.

My Cullen Skink – I had only yellow dyed haddock to hand, normally an undyed fish will produce a creamier colour


Per Person, multiply these values as appropriate:

  • 1 Smoked haddock fillet – traditionally smoked, not just smoke flavoured
  • 1 small shallot or ½ big shallot – finely chopped
  • 90g potatoes or 2 small potatoes – peeled & diced
  • ½ leek – finely chopped
  • 90ml whole cream milk
  • 90ml water
  • 1tsp of vegetable stock powder / bouillon

(Optional) Garnish:

  • Spoonful Chives – chopped
  • Pinch of Parsley – chopped
  • 1 Egg (per person)
  • Shake of ground black pepper


  • Pot
  • Blender

Prep Time:

  • About 30 minutes, with extra time to chop the vegetables beforehand


  1. In a pot, add the water and the fish fillets.
  2. Cook the fish fillets until they begin to easily flake apart.
  3. Remove the fillets, draining excess water back into the pot.
  4. Place fish in a bowl, drain water from pot into a container. 
  5. Add the vegetable stock / bouillon to the fish water.
  6. Chop the vegetables, peel and cube the potatoes.
  7. Add a knob of butter to the pot, let it melt over a low heat.
  8. Add the vegetables & potatoes, now sweat them (not browning them).
  9. Once the potatoes start to become mushy around the edges, add the fish stock back in.
  10. Let it simmer, but not boil, until the potatoes are soft.
  11. Flake the fish.
  12. (optional) Hard boil the eggs, chop chives and parsley.
  13. (optional) If you would like to have solid potatoes in your soup, use a spoon or fork to remove some of the potatoes, and place them in a separate container.
  14. Add half, not all, of the fish to the soup.
  15. Blend until smooth. Slowly add the milk as you blend.
  16. Add the rest of the fish to the soup, and any potatoes you removed.
  17. Mix and cook for a few minutes longer.
  18. (optional) Peel and halve the eggs.
  19. Ladle the Cullen Skink into deep bowls.
  20. (optional) Add an egg to each bowl. Sprinkle any chives, parsley, or ground pepper to taste.

Final Step: Serve hot, and enjoy!

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