|Place of origin||Scotland|
|Region or state||Cullen|
|Main ingredients||Smoked haddock (finnan haddie), potatoes and onions|
|Cookbook:Cullen skink Cullen skink|
This soup is a local speciality, from the town of Cullen in Moray, on the north-east coast of Scotland. The soup is often served as a starter at formal Scottish dinners. Cullen skink is widely served as an everyday dish across the northeast of Scotland.
Local recipes for Cullen skink have several slight variations, such as the use of milk instead of water or the addition of single cream. Cullen skink was traditionally served with bread.
It has been described as "smokier and more assertive than American chowder, heartier than classical French bisque." The name is partly (and indirectly) derived from Gaelic. The first element refers to the town of Cullen in Moray (a place name of Gaelic origin). The second element skink is a Scots word for a shin, knuckle, or hough of beef, which has developed the secondary meaning of a soup, especially one made from these. The word skink is ultimately derived from the Middle Dutch schenke "shin, hough" (cognate with the archaic English word shank).
Cullen skink appears in many traditional Scottish cookery books and appears in numerous restaurants and hotel menus throughout Scotland, the UK, and internationally. In 2012 a Guardian columnist described the dish as "the milky fish soup which has surely replaced your haggises and porridges as Scotland's signature dish".
- Felicity Cloake, "How to cook perfect cullen skink", The Guardian, 5 January 2012.
- Robinson, M. (ed) The Concise Scots Dictionary, Aberdeen University Press 1985
- Scott Murray, "John O'Groats: a new start for the end of the road", The Guardian, 31 August 2012.