Rate this recipe

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Potato Year: 300 Classic Recipes

The Potato Year

By Lucy Madden

Published 2015

  • About

This recipe was given to me by a Scottish friend, and the dish must indeed originate from there. A soup called Punchnep can be made in much the same way, by using puréed turnips and with more milk added. The verb ‘to skirl’ is to sound out in shrill, piercing tones, especially with a bagpipe. A similar dish, Orkney Clapshot, has the addition of chopped onion and chives and is traditionally served with haggis.


  • 1 lb (450 g) potatoes
  • 1 lb (450 g) swedes
  • 2 oz (50 g) butter
  • A little hot milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A little chopped parsley


Cook the potatoes and the swedes separately in salted water. When tender, drain and purée both vegetables and fold together.

Melt the butter in a pan, add the potato and swede purée, stir in the hot milk and the seasoning. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

In the spring of 1743 a Scottish landlord called Clanronald brought home some potato tubers from Northern Ireland after a visit to his relatives. He distributed these to his tenants in South Uist but they only agreed to plant them after a threat of imprisonment. The story goes that when they were harvested, the crops were deposited in sacks at his front door with a refusal to eat them.

Part of