Cullen skink soup is traditionally made with smoked haddock but I find the sweet taste of kipper to be better. Ask your fishmonger to fillet and skin the kipper, or do this yourself, but take care when removing the pinbones to be sure you get them all. I find that warming the kipper first makes the bones come out more easily.
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 for lunch.
1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and cook until softened.
2. Add the potatoes, bay leaf and milk. Bring just to the boil, then simmer for 10–15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
3. Meanwhile, check the kipper fillets for pinbones and remove any with tweezers, then flake the fillets into pieces. Add most of the kipper pieces to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper.
4. Blitz the soup roughly with a hand blender, then stir in the cream and most of the chopped parsley. Reheat if necessary and serve hot, garnished with the remaining kipper pieces and parsley.
This is an edited extract from My Simple Italian by Theo Randall (Ebury Press, £25).