Monday, 30 January 2012

Cullen Skink

A rich and hearty traditional Scottish soup made with smoked haddock and potatoes.
Sometimes known as Smoked Haddock Chowder, it is the perfect cold weather comfort food.

      Cullen Skink

1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 small leeks, white only, finely chopped
1 garlic cloves, crushed then finely chopped
4 medium sized waxy potatoes, boiled until tender then peeled
2 smoked haddock (Arbroath smokies), skin and bones removed
100ml whole milk
100ml double cream
freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish:
Smoked haddock flakes
chopped chives
Pour the milk into a saucepan large enough to take the haddock. Add in the smoked haddock.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from direct heat and set aside to infuse for a further 5 minutes.
Remove the haddock, strain the poaching liquid and reserve.
Flake the poached haddock, removing any skin and bones.
Heat the butter in a separate non-stick saucepan. Add the shallots, leek and garlic. Cover and sweat for 5-10 minutes, but don't allow the vegetables to colour.  
Add the cooked potatoes and add the smoked haddock to the pan. Cover and sweat for a further two minutes, then add the poaching liquid and season with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Remove about a third of the fish and potatoes, and tranfer the rest into a blender and blend for a few seconds; then gradually add the milk and cream.

Return the creamy soup to the saucepan and add in the smoked haddock and the potatoes that had been set aside and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes. Season with plenty of black pepper and salt, if needed.
To serve,  ladle in the soup and garnish with chopped chives top with some  the smoked haddock flakes.