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Cullen Skink

Serves 6-8

The intriguingly named Cullen Skink is a rich, creamy soup to savour on a cold night in front of a roaring fire. The recipe is originally from the small fishing village of Cullen, on the Moray Forth in Scotland, and uses the local speciality, Finnan haddock (or haddie, as it is known there)-haddock that have been split, with the central bone left in, then cold-smoked over wood. If you can’t get hold of haddie, use undyed smoked haddock.

500g smoked haddock 600ml milk
15g unsalted butter
1 sliced onion
225g floury potatoes, peeled, diced and rinsed ( this removes excess starch) 600ml water
100ml single cream
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Salt and pepper

Put the haddock in a pan and add the milk; it should just cover the fish. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then set aside.

Melt the butter in a separate pan, add the onion and sweat over a low heat until it is soft and translucent. Add the potatoes and water, bring to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are almost cooked.

Remove the fish from the milk. Pour the milk through a sieve into the pan with the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, flake the fish, discarding the skin and bones.
I prefer a chunky texture, so it is best to crush the potatoes gently with a fork or potato masher. Finally add the flaked fish and the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into warm bowls and scatter with chopped chives.

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