Haiku: Cullen Skink

close up of organic leek and potatoes

Cullen skink and stovies
a lunch-time line forms
in the rain

© Xenia Tran

The Asahi Shimbun, 18 February 2022

close up of fish and potato soup served in bowl

Cullen Skink is a popular fish soup along the Moray coast, where it is served in many restaurants, cafés and takeaways. Seeing people wait in line outside a takeaway inspired the above haiku.

This traditional Scottish soup originated in Cullen, a town that has featured a few times on this blog, most recently in January’s post Seatown.

It is an easy dish to prepare yourself. Some people use onion, we prefer leek. Some people use mashed potato with cream, we prefer cubed potato, steamed in their skin.


Organic leek, organic potato, smoked haddock, milk, parsley (or lovage).


Wash, peel and chop the leek, wash and cube the potatoes. Steam the potatoes for approximately 15 minutes, the leek for 10 minutes.

In a separate saucepan, poach the smoked haddock in semi-skimmed milk for five minutes. Remove the haddock with a strainer and transfer it onto a plate. When the fish is cool enough to touch, flake it into large pieces, removing any bones, and return it to the milk in the pan.

Add the steamed potato and leek to the milk and haddock and heat together for another five minutes. Serve and garnish with fresh parsley et voilà – you have a simple, wholesome dish for any occasion.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Thank you Cee for honouring us with this post as a CMMC Featured Blogger!

CMMC Featured Blogger Ribbon

CMMC: Close-Up or Macro

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Wholesome

Word of the Day Challenge: Occasion

Haiku: Butterbeans and Lovage

close up shot of chopped tomatoes on a yellow plate

meeting again
butterbeans and lovage
on solstice day

© Xenia Tran

side on view of a plant-based meal simmering in a frying pan

This has been a regular dish for us during the lockdown, once fresh tomatoes and spinach were available. We experimented with many different seasonings and lovage became our favourite.

This haiku was first published in Haiku Dialogue: The Way of the Chef, Troutswirl, The Haiku Foundation Blog, 24 June 2020. A very big thank you to guest editor Craig Kittner and post manager Lori Zajkowski for featuring my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

Thank you again for all your good wishes before we went on our blogging break and we hope you had a lovely week and Solstice too!

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/25 s – ISO 100 and f/2.8 – 1/10 s – ISO 800.

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #144: Summer Solstice

Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of … #73: Taking a Break

Word of the Day Challenge: Celebration

A further selection of recent publications in online and print journals can be found here: