Full-flavoured, warming and creamy, Cullen skink is a wintertime classic – and it makes the perfect starter for your Burns Night supper. Hailing from the town of Cullen in Moray, this traditional Scottish soup is made with un-dyed, smoked haddock (although just about any smoked white fish will do), starchy potatoes and stirred with milk for richness. Tom Ryalls, head chef at Beagle, London shows us how to recreate it at home.
300g undyed smoked haddock
700ml full fat milk
1 medium onion, peeled & sliced thinly
1 large pinch black pepper corns (around 20)
1 large potato, (about 350g) peeled, sliced into 1cm thick round slices
A few knobs of butter
Chives or chervil to decorate
Place the smoked haddock, peppercorns, sliced onions & milk in a large pan and gently bring to the boil. Simmer for 7 to 10 mins, until the haddock is tender.
Remove the fish and leave to cool.
Add the potatoes to the hot milk & onions. Bring back to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 20 mins (stirring from time to time) until the potatoes are cooked.
While the potatoes cook, flake the haddock discarding the skin and any small bones.
Once the potatoes are cooked, strain, reserve the milk and remove the pepper corns and large bits of onion. Mash the potatoes, and whisk into the milk until you obtain a thick soup consistency.
Gently reheat and season to taste, before adding the flaked haddock and dotting with the knobs of butter. Finish with a sprinkling of herbs.
Recipe by Tom Ryalls at Beagle