Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink is a rich thick Scottish soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. An authentic Cullen Skink will use Finnan Haddie, but it can also be prepared with any other undyed smoked haddock.

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.

cullen skink soup

Serves 4

  • 300g Finnan Haddie
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 20g butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 large leek, trimmed, halved & thinly sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled & cut into 1cm dice
  • 350ml  milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parsley or Chives finely chopped, to serve

Put the fish and bay leaf into a large pan cover with about 250ml cold water

Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, turning once

Remove from the heat and remove the fish with a slotted spoon, keep the poaching liquid.

Remove the skin from the haddock, plus any bones, then gently flake the fish.

Melt butter in another pan over a low heat, and add the onion and the leek.

Cover and allow to sweat, without colouring, for 5 minutes until softened.

Add the potato and stir to coat with butter. Pour in the haddock cooking liquor and bay leaf, and bring to a simmer.

Cook for 5-10 minutes until the potato is tender.

Discard the bay leaf, add the milk, some salt and white pepper to taste and process the soup with a hand blender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Add half of the smoked haddock flakes to the soup and reheat.

Divide the remaining Smoked haddock between warmed bowls and surround with soup, sprinkle with Parsley.

Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Scottish Word of the Day!

Help ma Boab! – “Goodness gracious me!” – Expressing frustration, amazement, etc.

Help ma’ Boab a nearly smacked ma heid off  the lamp post!

The phrase is famously used by Scotland’s One and Only Oor Willie

Help ma Boab! is that the time !



Scotch Pie

The Scotch pie is an institution in Scotland and has been around for so long that its origins have been lost in the mists of time.

There are reports of a variation of the scotch pie being made in Scotland some 500 years ago.

The Scotch pie is a small, double-crust meat pie filled with minced spiced mutton or other meat.

A convenience food, the scotch pie can easily be eaten one-handed and we like to view it as the Scottish version of a hot sandwich. It is traditional, delicious Scottish fayre.

Across the land every Saturday thousands of pies are consumed at football venues along with the traditional mug of Bovril.

So revered is the humble pie that the Scotch Pie Club was formed in its honour in 1996, and holds the annual World Scotch Pie Championship to judge the best pie in the country.


Scottish Word of the Day!

Puggled – knackered, tired, worn out

Ah’m fair puggled climbing yon stairs

“What dae ye mean – ‘you’re puggled’?” – “What do you mean – ‘you’re done in’?”

Ah’m fair puggled the day.

Scottish Oatcakes

Oatcakes are thin savoury oatmeal biscuit, traditionally made in Scotland. Oatcakes are cooked either on a griddle or baked in the oven.

Oatcake variations exist based upon different preparations in various regions and countries.

The health benefits include it helps regulate cholesterol by lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol.

In  Samuel Johnson’s  Johnson Dictionary of the English Language published 1755, he gives a very unusual definition for the word oats:  ‘a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.’

The description reveals his low opinion of the Scots.

Lord Elibank of Scotland was said to retort ”Yes, and where else will you see such horses and such men?”

Scottish Oatcakes

Makes about 20 Oatcakes

225g medium oatmeal
15g  melted fat or butter
1 Teaspoon of salt
100ml hot water
Additional oatmeal for kneading

Preheat oven to 200c

Mix oatmeal and salt

Add melted fat and water

Knead ingredients for a few minutes

Roll out into the required thickness and cut into required shape

Cook in oven for 15 to 20 minutes allow to cool a bit then place on a wire rack to cool completely


Scottish Word of the Day!

Gie it laldy – Give it all you’ve got

I’ve got a sair heid –  Aye were you giving it laldy last night?

Did you hear him singing in the pub last night? He was fair giving it laldy!

Ye should’ve seen big Maggie at the karaoke, she wiz geein it laldy aw night.