Monday, 26 October 2009

Cullen Skink

My camera is not working.... but I wanted to post this anyway. The wind is howling a gale outside, the rain lashing against the windows and I have a huge list of things to do but can't be bothered so am staying home to make soup. It is time, finally, to lay aside the hot weather food of summer months and embrace winter flavours, I need to make food to warm our bones and comfort us as we pack away the holiday clothes and break out the thermal underwear.

This truly Scottish concoction is not just a soup, more of a stew, a bit like an American chowder, rich dense and warming - perfect for a day like this. Although my version is not entirely authentic, it is exactly what I crave today. Hot garlic, potatoes and cream all flavoured with salty smoky haddock.

The village we live inis a good drive to the nearest fishmonger so we rely on a couple of salt soaked vans travelling through each week to provide us with our fish course. This week its the smoked haddock I can smell as I walk through the village square.

Cullen Skink
500g smoked haddock fillets (undyed if possible)
500ml milk
25g butter
2 leeks, white only finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
500g potatoes, peeled and chopped into 5mm dice
Salt and Pepper
Double Cream to finish

Put the smoked haddock fillets in a pan with 200ml milk. Add a little water to cover the fish if necessary. Boil for 6-8 mins depending on the thickness of the fish, until the fish is just cooked. Remove the fish (reserve the liquid) and flake into chunks.

Add the potatoes to the reserved milk. Boil for 10-15 mins until the potatoes are soft. remove the pan from the heat and mash the potatoes into the liquid until thick, smooth and creamy.

Melt the butter in a large pan and saute the leeks and garlic until they are meltingly soft. Do not allow them to colour, this soup should be a pallid creamy shade, no speckles of green or brown.

Combine the potato mixture and cooked fish in one pan with the leeks and add the remaining 300ml milk. Season well with lots of pepper (white if you have it). Smoked haddock can be very salty so taste before you add salt - you may not need any.

Warm through at a low heat for a few minutes then serve with a swirl of double cream on top some buttered soda or country bread on the side.

1 comment:

  1. * sigh * A fishmonger van...a village square...salty smoked haddock...the imagery is INCREDIBLE. I feel like I'm there and I'm absolutely charmed...