Chef's Recipe: Dave Lawrence's Cullen Skink

Chef Dave Lawrence from Canal du Midi luxury hotel barge, Anjodi shares his recipe for an authentic Cullen Skink, taken from his time as chef aboard the Spirit of Scotland.

Cullen Skink - a traditional Scottish recipe prepared by chef Dave Lawrence


An authentic Cullen Skink recipe…

  • 2 large roasting potatoes
  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml double (heavy) cream
  • 4 bay leaves
  • handful parsley stems
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 250g smoked haddock
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100ml dry white wine

Onions and garlic are key ingredients to a Cullen Skink recipe, prepared by Anjodi chef Dave Lawrence


1. Rinse any dirt off the potatoes, stab them a few times with a paring knife (to stop them exploding in your oven!) then roast whole at 180°c, about 1 hour until cooked through.

2. Warm milk and cream together in a saucepan until just steaming then add the bay leaves, parsley stems, peppercorns and haddock. Put back on a low heat for 5 mins, then set aside to infuse the milk and be sure the haddock is just cooked. (it will flake apart easily in your fingers)

3. Sauté the onion and garlic with the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until translucent, approx. 10 minutes

4. Raise the heat to med/high and add the wine. Reduce for approx. 5 mins

5. Strain the infused milk, reserving the haddock. Discard herbs and peppercorns

6. Lower your saucepan back to medium heat and pour in the infused milk

7. Slice the potatoes in half and scoop the flesh straight into the saucepan, then use a potato masher to break up any large bits of potato. I like to leave mine fairly chunky for added texture

8. Give your soup about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently, to bring everything together and let the potato thicken the soup. Adjust the consistency if needed with more milk

9. Flake the haddock into the soup, reserving 1 piece per bowl, stir, and season with salt and pepper

10. Spoon into warm bowls. And garnish with the reserved haddock, more black pepper, some parsley leaves, and olive oil

Anjodi Chef Dave Lawrence

Tha mi an dòchas gun còrd e ribh (bon appetit!)

Have a go at making Chef Dave’s Cullen Skink at home, and let us know what you think! You can sample Chef Dave’s recipes in person aboard luxury hotel barge Anjodi.

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