Curried Bean Cullen Skink

Curried Bean Cullen Skink

To turn this into a veggie-focused dish, add sweetcorn or peas instead of, or as well as, the beans. Equally, potatoes can replace the beans to make this a classic cullen skink – peel and roughly chop them before adding to the simmering stock and cook until just tender before adding the smoked fish.
Serves 4
Total Time
30 Minutes
2 tbsp of olive or vegetable oil
2 medium leeks or onions, trimmed, halved and sliced
3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 rounded tbsp of medium-hot curry powder or paste
300ml of whole milk
500ml of veg stock
About 300g of smoked haddock or pollack fillet, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 x 400g tin of cannellini or borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
About 200g of baby spinach (or regular spinach, tough stalks removed, leaves roughly chopped)
2 tbsp of chopped flat-leaf parsley or coriander (optional)
Black pepper
Step 1

Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the oil and then the leeks or onions, garlic, bay leaves if using, and curry powder or paste. Sweat, stirring regularly.

Step 2

Pour in the milk and stock, bring to a simmer and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Step 3

Add the smoked fish and beans followed by the spinach, adding it a handful at a time as it wilts down in the simmering soup. By the time the spinach is wilted (in just a few minutes), the fish will be cooked.

Step 4

Add the chopped parsley or coriander if using, and season with a few twists of pepper (the smoked fish should make it salty enough). Ladle into warm bowls and serve.

Extract from Eat Better Forever by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, £26). Order it here
Photography © Simon Wheeler. 

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