It’s freezing out there.

It’s so cold that I can’t be bothered leaving the warmth of my front room to go shopping so instead I’ve decided to rake around the freezer to see what I can find.

Loading article content

After coming across some lovely peat smoked haddock I have a light bulb moment, why not make one of my all-time favourite soups, Cullen skink, with a salty and sweet twist? Try it yourself.


Cullen skink with vanilla curry oil and anchovy straws

350g of maris piper tatties; washed, peeled and diced into 2 inch cubes

100g of butter        

1 Spanish onion

200ml of double cream

250ml of milk

200g of diced celery

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 fresh bay leaves

1 large bunch of thyme, tied to the bay

200ml of dry white wine

600g of Finnan haddock dice (keep 100 g back for garnish)



Chopped chives for garnish

1 tablespoon of curry powder

200ml of mustard oil

1 scrapings of a vanilla pod

A 200g piece of puff pastry

1 small tin anchovy’s

Egg wash


1 Place the tatties, chopped onion, garlic, thyme, wine, haddock and celery butter into a pan and bring to the boil

2 When boiling turn to a simmer until the tatties are cooked

3 Take out the bay and thyme and blend the soup until smooth then season

4 For the curry oil, dry fry the curry powder in a pan and then add the oil and heat for 1 minute

5 Take off the heat and add the vanilla

6 Place in a bottle for 24 hours then pass through muslin

7 Keep in the fridge

8 To make the anchovy straws, roll out the puff pastry into an oblong about half a cm thick

9 Down one half lay out the anchovies in lines from the top to the bottom

10 Egg wash the other half and fold over

11 Press down between the anchovies so it looks like a slab of sausage rolls before they get cut

12 Pop the sheet in the freezer for 4 hours or until stiff then cut across the grain as thin as you can and bake the straws in a oven on gas mark 5 until they are crispy and golden brown

13 To serve, place hot soup in the bowls, drizzle on the curry oil, sprinkle on the chives and then place the straws in the bowl or on the side