Total Time
44 min
14 min
30 min
Once thought of as peasants’ fare, this French fish-and-bread soup appears in many fine restaurants around the world today. It is usually thickened with egg yolks and seasoned with aïoli, but we simplify by using a delicious combination of mayonnaise and garlic. Fresh spinach, stirred in towards the end of the cooking time, rounds out the soup, making it a complete meal. Up the flavor ante of the aïoli by adding a bit of finely grated lemon zest and a pinch of saffron threads rubbed between your finger and thumb for even more authentic Mediterranean flavor.


Reduced calorie mayonnaise

2 Tbsp


2 clove(s), minced

French bread

5 oz, cut into 16 rounds

Olive oil

1 tsp


1 medium, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise

Vegetable broth

3 cup(s), fish broth, or bottled clam juice

White wine

¼ cup(s), dry


item(s), large, (1 thick slice)

Fresh parsley

1 oz, fresh flat-leaf, (1 large sprig)

Fresh thyme

1 oz, fresh, (1 large sprig)


6 oz, baby leaves

Uncooked halibut fillet

1 pound(s), cod, or flounder fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces

Fresh thyme

1 tsp, fresh, chopped or 1⁄4 teaspoon dried


  1. Combine the mayonnaise and half of the minced garlic in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until the flavors blend, at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Place the bread rounds on a baking sheet; spray lightly with olive-oil nonstick spray. Spread the remaining garlic on top of the rounds. Broil 5 inches away from the heat until golden and fragrant, 2–3 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 7–10 minutes. Add the broth, wine, lemon, parsley sprig, and thyme sprig; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Discard the lemon, parsley, and thyme.
  4. Stir the spinach into the broth mixture and simmer, covered, until the spinach just begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Stir about 1⁄2 cup of the hot broth into the mayonnaise mixture; whisk until smooth. Return the mayonnaise mixture to the saucepan, stirring constantly until blended. Add the fish and simmer, covered, until the fish is just opaque, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped thyme.
  5. Place 4 garlic toasts in the bottom of each of 4 soup bowls. Pour about 1 1⁄4 cups of the soup over the toasts in each bowl. Yields 1 bowl per serving.