Recipe: Cullen Skink Soup

Cullen Skink is a traditional Scottish soup, usually laden with butter and cream. It’s rich, tasty. and very decadent, but it’s easy to make a Slimming-World-friendly version that’s just as tasty and is very low-syn (or even syn-free if you omit the teaspoon of butter!). I’ve added swede to my recipe to add a touch more speed food than the traditional recipe calls for, but I think it works really well.

F = Free food (eat as much as you like)
S = Speed food (these should make up at least a third of your meal)
P = Protein free food (eat as much of these as you like!)
HEa = Healthy Extra A (a daily allowance of dairy produce)
HEb = Healthy Extra B (a daily allowance of a product with fibre)
# = a number denotes roughly how many syns are in foods used

12029618_10156062372185386_921801460288117515_oCULLEN SKINK SOUP
Serves 2 (very large!) at 1 syn per portion


  • 350-400g smoked haddock (not dyed) (P)
  • 2 fist-sized potatoes (F)
  • 150g swede (S)
  • 1 medium onion (S)
  • 1 garlic clove (S)
  • 1 tsp butter (2) – optional
  • 500mls skimmed milk (HEA)
  • Frylight (F)
  • Water (F)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (F)


  • Peel and cube your potatoes and swede, and either boil or steam till tender.
  • Mash the potatoes and swede with the butter, using a splash of milk if necessary, to achieve a smooth, creamy mash.
  • Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic, and fry in a little Frylight till just cooked through (add a pinch of salt to prevent them browning).
  • Poach the haddock in just enough water to cover it – it should only take a few minutes to cook through.
  • Remove the haddock from the water (but reserve that water – you’ll need it!), remove the skin and bones, and flake the fish – keep the flakes quite chunky as they will break down further later on.
  • Replace the haddock in the water, add the onion and garlic, and pour in the milk.
  • One spoonful at a time, stir the potato and swede into the liquid, ensuring each spoonful is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • Bring the soup to the boil and simmer a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve and add salt and pepper as desired.

This has a lovely, subtle flavour from the smoked haddock. If you like a stronger fishy flavour, feel free to add a fish stock cube or some fish sauce (I don’t know what the syns would be for fish sauce – you’d have to look them up).

If you leave out the butter entirely, it’s a syn-free dish, using skimmed milk as your HEA (and as this give two – very large – servings, you’ll still have 100mls of milk left for you to use in your cups of tea or coffee throughout the day). I like to leave it in, however, as it makes it taste just that little bit more decadent and synful. As the portions are large, you could always serve four as a starter at only half a syn per portion.

If you wanted to add more speed food, feel free to do so – I guess adding a carrot to your mash would be rather tasty, but it would change the colour of the soup, which is traditionally a creamy white. You could also use leek in place of the onion, and it would be equally good.

This is a quick soup to make – you can make it from start to finish in around half an hour, so you need never be stuck for lunch again!

Look at those delicious chunky flakes of haddock! Absolutely gorgeous!



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