Cullen skink served in a pan and a bowl alongside

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4

Simmer haddock, potatoes, milk, onion and parsley to make this comforting soup. Serve with crusty bread for a filling lunch or supper

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal206
  • fat6g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs21g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre3g
  • protein17g
  • salt0.7g


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 medium onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 400g medium potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into 1cm cubes



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 250g smoked haddock



    A white-fleshed salt water fish often compared with cod in flavour and texture. Found on the…

  • 250ml whole milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • ½ small bunch of parsley or chives, finely chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion and fry for 5-8 mins until translucent but not browned. Add the potatoes and 300ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 10-15 mins. 

  2. Meanwhile, put the haddock in another pan and cover with the the milk. Cook gently for 5 mins, or until just tender. Remove the haddock from the milk with a slotted spoon (reserving the milk), transfer to a plate and leave to cool slightly. When cool enough to touch, flake into large pieces, removing any bones.

  3. Put the reserved milk and flaked haddock in the pan with the potato mixture and cook for another 5 mins. Season and sprinkle over the parsley to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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14th Jul, 2020
I used a fair bit of poetic licence on this one as an emergency dish to use up what needed eating in the fridge but used this re eps for the basics and it was great. I haves the potatoes and increased the fish but kept liquid quaothe same. I sautéed a leek, some bacon and a couple of mushrooms with the onion as this was for a main meal. I only had skimmed milk so when I added the flakes fish and milk to the potatoe mix I stirred through some low fat garlic and herb cream cheese to make it creamier. I also had a little leftover cooked salmon and bream from the day before so added that too along with a handful of frozen peas and then served with a little blue cheese crumbled over with the chives, plenty of black pepper and garlic, bread on the side. Used up everything that needed eating and was delicious. Bit more of a cross between a chowder and Cullen skink (we live in Scotland) but the basic recipe would have been great as it was I think. However this was extremely well received and I’ll be repeating. So easy too! Thankyou
19th Feb, 2019
This recipe is so easy, quick and delicious. I’ve tried adding leeks and a bit more liquid and it works very well. I love Cullen skink and avoided making it as other recipes just took too long. Great for busy people. Love it!
12th Feb, 2019
Cullen Skink is possibly my favourite soup, and I must say this recipe results in the best Cullen Skink I have ever tasted. I like to use smoked cod or basa when I am making it and also use garlic pepper for just that little extra finish
30th Dec, 2018
This is the best recipe I have used for making this soup, so quick and easy and tastes amazing.
16th Nov, 2018
Planning to make this tomorrow and serve it in homemade sourdough bread soup bowls. I know how good this recipe is - adding a leek works well.
Nancy Sutton's picture
Nancy Sutton
19th Mar, 2018
Made this tonight. As good as what we ate while on vacation in Scotland a couple of years ago. Thanks BBC!!
5th Jun, 2017
silly question I suppose, but do you drain the potatoes first or just add the milk to the water
Debbie Walters's picture
Debbie Walters
25th Jan, 2018
Hi, I've made this several times and I just added the milk to the water. Bit late to reply but better late than never as they say!! Debbie
Andrew Close's picture
Andrew Close
4th Jan, 2018
Did you get this answered? Thank you Andrew
David Weir's picture
David Weir
25th Jan, 2018
Don't drain the water, no. There's good flavour in there!


Judith Anne's picture
Judith Anne
23rd Jan, 2020
Is this ok to make the day before and then reheat?
18th Jan, 2015
Can this soup be prepared in advance and stored either in the fridge for one night or frozen?
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