Artichoke Soup

Refined and delicious artichoke soup, made from the hearts of fresh globe artichokes, leeks, shallots, yukon gold potatoes, stock, a little cream, and herbs.

The recipe can easily be cut in half. We do not recommend using frozen artichoke hearts for this soup, as frozen hearts are treated in an acidic solution, changing the flavor of the soup.

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8.

Ingredients

  • The hearts from 5 large artichokes (see How to trim an artichoke)
  • 5 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 medium size leek, white-and-light green parts only, sliced and rinsed (see How to Clean Leeks)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (or yellow onion, if shallots aren't available)
  • 8 oz of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 12 cups of  chicken stock (if cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free stock) or vegetable stock (for vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs of parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup of cream
  • Salt to taste

Method

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1 Prepare the artichoke hearts. Peel off the leaves from around the artichokes until you get to the thistly choke in the center. (Note, we save most of the leaves to steam separately and eat dipped in melted butter or mayonnaise. Why waste perfectly good artichoke leaves?)  With a small knife, remove the thistle choke part and discard. Cut or peel away the tough outside skin of the stems and discard.  You can keep one to two inches of the stem on the artichoke heart. Longer stems you can discard. Slice the hearts or chop to a quarter inch thickness.

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Melt the butter in a large, thick-bottomed pot on medium heat.  Add the artichoke hears, leek, garlic, and shallots. Cook until tender, but not brown. Add the peeled diced potatoes and the stock. Wrap the herbs (bay leaf, thyme, parsley) and peppercorns in cheesecloth and place in the pot. Increase the heat to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook uncovered, for 1 hour.

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3 After an hour, remove and discard the herbs. Purée the soup and use a rubber spatula to push it through a fine mesh sieve. At this point you can make ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve. When you are ready to serve, heat the soup and stir in the remaining butter and the cream. Season with salt to taste and serve.

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Comments

  1. Liz

    I love Duarte’s in Pescadero! I moved from the CA Bay Area to Illinois last year and miss the artichoke country. This sounds like a great soup, I will have to try it once we get some decent artichokes in the stores here. Just FYI, everyone should try the Artichoke bread from Arcangeli Grocery, aka Norm’s Market in Pescadero – they also ship partially baked loaves for those that aren’t lucky enough to live in the area.

  2. janine

    I made this soup the other night for company and found that the artichoke leaves serve really well as an appetizer with an aioli, and i also used them for a garnish on the soup. Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. Elise

    Hi Christelle,

    Just for you, and for others who might be curious, I made this soup today using a bag of frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joe’s.

    I halved the recipe, as the frozen hearts are from artichokes that are much smaller than what we would typically buy fresh.

    The frozen artichoke hearts are treated with citric acid (vitamin C actually) to help preserve their color. This flavor comes through in the soup. To counteract the acidic flavor you need to add some sugar to the soup. I added a couple of tablespoons to achieve the proper balance.

    The frozen artichokes include some leaves as well as the thistley choke. So, after you purée the soup, you definitely need to put it through a strainer.

    The verdict? The soup was good, but not glorious. Doesn’t approach the original.

  4. Gini

    The picture looks so elegant. Artichokes have always intimidated me. This soup makes me want to overcome the intimidation,

  5. Liz

    Do you think that this would keep OK if I made this tonight (Monday) for dinner on Wednesday? I don’t want to compromise flavor or texture. I was thinking about storing the puree in the fridge until then and adding the cream and butter when reheating.

    Thanks for the advice! I’m still a novice cook and oftentimes don’t know what I’m doing…

  6. Elise

    Hi Liz,
    No problem with making it on Monday night for serving on Wed. Just don’t bring it to a boil, but heat it to right before simmering.

  7. suzanne

    I haven’t tried the recipe but 12 cups of stock seems very excessive to me compared to other recipes. Suzanne

  8. Elise

    Hi Suzanne,

    It does seem excessive, doesn’t it? But, that’s the recipe as it appeared in the NYT. I cut the whole thing in half and used 6 cups of stock and 3 instead of 5 large globe artichoke hearts.

  9. miche

    I made this tonight with 10 baby artichokes (10 for $1 in my ‘hood today!) and about 8 cups of broth. That seemed to be perfect. I also thought 12 was too much. It is not too thick – it is honestly just right! Also, I used half the butter (for sauteeing) and no cream – this being post-holidays and everything. It is still very rich and velvety w/o the addition of the fat. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Elise.

  10. kristi

    Hi Elise! I have my own recipe to cook this soup and my family like it. But it’s boring to make the same for years. Yesterday cooked yours Artichoke soup and it was delicious. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe.

  11. Barbi

    I saw that one reviewer used frozen artichokes for this recipe. I am wondering if the canned variety packed in water would work?

    In my opinion this recipe wouldn’t even be worth attempting with canned artichokes. ~Elise

  12. lala

    Go Duarte’s! I’m an Azorean Portuguese NorCal native and Pescadero is awesome; it’s the best place to get away from the valley or the city and find great food. Artichoke soup there is great, as well as at Cunha’s country store in Half Moon Bay. Thanks for the recipe. Azoreans rock the Bay!

  13. Paula

    This is a lovely artichoke soup. It was the perfect starter course for a dinner party of eight. I modified the recipe, but only slightly. I felt it needed to be just a bit thicker (not much) so I added two beurre manie balls (about 2T butter-flour mixed together. I make these up and keep them in the freezer for just this purpose). I also added a few drops of hot sauce to kick it up just a tad. At service time, I added a dollop of thick, homemade creme fraiche and a few small Parmesan croutons (again homemade) to each serving. Artichokes are pricey in NH this time of year but I can’t resist taking advantage of them when they are in season (counter to localvore trends). They are not only tasty but beautiful to look at in the bowl on my table before they go into the soup pot. Thanks for this recipe Elise.

  14. Debi Roybal

    Oh yum! Thank you so much for this recipe Elise. I served it as a starter for our Easter dinner and everyone just loved it.

  15. Carol

    Elice, this is an elegant soup, a perfect start to a spring dinner party or a light meal. Baby artichokes and spring onions are at my farmers market so I substituted. I found I used half the butter and no cream like miche above. Even lighted up it was good enough to add to my recipe book with 5 stars. Thank you!

  16. Linda Short

    May I use sour cream in place of the cream?

    I’ve never tried it. If you do, let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  17. Katie

    The cream of artichoke soup from Duarte’s is my absolute favorite. They also have a really great cream of chili soup. My dad grew up in Pescadero, and our family still lives in the area, so we go there whenever we can. FYI: the Duarte’s are Portuguese, not Italian, so their name is pronounced Due-art, not Due-art-tay, like many people make the mistake of doing. It’s just one of those things that gets annoying if you’re a local and know better :)

  18. Beverly Forell

    I’ve used this recipe several times with great success! It’s my favorite, by far, and I love the ambiance of the Shadowbrook. If you ever get a chance to eat there, I highly recommend it. They use frozen artichoke hearts, which are easier to come by when you live not so close to the coast. :)

    Shadowbrook (Capitola) Creamy Artichoke Soup

    1 lb.
    (or 2-8.5 oz.
    cans, drained) Frozen artichoke hearts
    1 med.-lg.
    or 2 sm. Potatoes, peeled and sliced
    1/2 med. Onion, peeled and sliced
    1 1/2 Celery stocks, chopped
    1/2 med. Leek (white only), sliced
    1 clove Garlic, finely chopped (optional)
    3 Cups Chicken or vegetable stock
    1/8 Cup
    or 2 Tbsp. Fresh minced flat-leaf Italian parsley
    1/3 Tsp. Dried oregano
    1/2 Tsp. Dried basil
    3 Tbsp. Butter
    2 Tbsp. Flour
    1/2 Tsp. Half and Half
    1/2 Cup Heavy cream
    1/2 Tsp. Salt
    1/2 Tsp. Pepper
    1-2 Tsp. Fresh lemon juice

    Directions: Cook vegetables, including frozen artichoke hearts if used, in water until soft, approx 10-12 minutes. Drain. In blender, purée cooked vegetables (add canned artichoke hearts here, if used) and optional garlic. Return to pot. Add the herbs and stock. Sim-mer for 20 minutes.

    Make a roux with the melted butter and flour over medium heat. Add the half and half, stirring until smooth. Add to soup. Add the heavy cream. Bring soup back up to boil and season with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice to taste. To thin soup, add half and half. To thicken, add more roux.

    Strain through a fine strainer or colander. Makes about 6-8 ounce servings.

  19. Tam

    It’s essential to use the artichoke water from steaming the artichokes before cutting up the hearts. Condense the artichoke broth to one cup by simmering. The soup should be a lovely pale green. Canned and frozen will not compare to fresh.

  20. John

    I made this soup for guests the other night and
    it really was not that good. Even tho I used
    more artichokes; fresh, not canned or frozen;
    and less potatoes than called for in the recipe
    the universal comment was it tasted like potato
    soup. I used non salted butter and low sodium
    chicken stock, so it definitely needed salt to
    boost the flavor. We ended up adding salt, lots
    of pepper, and lemon juice to mask the overwhelming potato flavor. I probably won’t try this recipe again.