Cullen Skink by Caroline Rye of Slow Food Edinburgh

The Finnan Haddie (or haddock) is one of the new additions to the Scottish Ark of Taste, Slow Food’s worldwide programme aimed at protecting biodiversity and preserving traditional foods and heritage. Using a traditional Scottish method of fish smoking, it originates from north-eastern Scotland, where its origins can be traced back further than the 18th century.

It has a lightly salted and delicately smoked flavour, and it is traditionally used in the Scottish favourite Cullen Skink, a rich creamy soup of mashed potato, milk and haddock. Regular smoked (preferably undyed) haddock can also be used.

Learn more about the Ark of Taste at or visit the Slow Food Edinburgh stall at the Edinburgh Food Festival to sample the Finnan Haddie and other Scottish foods that have boarded the Ark.


600g floury potatoes, peeled

1 x Finnan Haddie or 350g pack smoked, undyed haddock

500ml milk (preferably full fat)

1 large onion, sliced

5 black peppercorns

Few sprigs parsley

150-250ml veg or fish stock

150ml single cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Large handful fragrant soft roughly chopped herbs (eg curly or flat leaved parsley or chives)

A few small cubes of butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the potatoes and simmer till cooked. Mash and set aside.

2 While the potatoes are cooking put the milk, onion, peppercorns, a few sprigs of parsley and the haddock in a pan, bring to a simmer and cook on a low heat with a lid for 10 minutes or until the fish starts to flake.

3 Strain the mixture retaining the flavoured milk. Flake the haddock into chunks discarding any skin and bones and set aside. 4 Heat the strained milk in a pan and stir in the mashed potato. Add 150ml stock, the cream and the fish, then stir and season to taste. Add more stock if needed to reach the desired consistency.

Stir through half of the herbs and butter.

5 Serve in hot bowls with crusty bread, making sure everyone has a good serving of haddock, garnished with the remaining herbs and a few specks of butter melting on top.

In association with Taste Communications.