Summer Skink

BY NICK MACMAHON | 25 JULY 2019

This is a more summer-friendly interpretation of the classic Scottish soup ‘Cullen Skink’. Cullen Skink is a hearty, hot soup of smoked haddock, potato, onions and a base of milk or cream. It is a speciality from the town of Cullen in the north-east of Scotland. It’s rich, it’s heavy and oh-so-comforting. But, it’s a winter dish. Butter, cream, starchy potatoes — that’s the stuff of winter bodies and knitted jumpers, not shorts-on and shirts-off.

 

Borrowing some of the same flavours and ingredients, you can make a fresher, more summery version. This ‘Summer Skink’ swaps out the cream-heavy soup for chilled cucumber soup made with greek yoghurt. Then, just add your potato and fish. For this recipe, I’ve used in-season Jersey Royals and the Scottish classic, Smokie Arbroaths, a smoked haddock from the town of Arbroath in Scotland (2 hours south of Cullen).

This is incredibly easy to put together. The only cooking involved is boiling potatoes. The soup is all made in the blender and then left to cool in the fridge.

 

Ingredients (for two)

1 Smokie Arbroath or fillet of hot-smoked fish, haddock or salmon work well

A handful of Jersey Royals or any new potato

300g cucumbers, roughly 2 or 3 medium-sized

Juice of half a lemon

1/2 cup yoghurt

1 Shallot

1 small clove of garlic

A handful of parsley, including stalks

1 tablespoon of olive oil 

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

Cut potatoes into bite-sized chunks and boil in salted water until easily pierced with a fork. Approximately 5 minutes. If your fish is still on the bone, separate flesh from the fish.

Cut up the cucumbers to fit in the blender. No need to peel or remove seeds. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until puréed. Add salt to taste. You can keep all the ingredients in the fridge to chill until ready to serve. To serve, divide fish and potatoes into bowls and ladle in the soup. Drizzle with olive oil.