Artichoke Soup

Refined and delicious, puréed artichoke soup is made from the hearts of fresh globe artichokes, leeks, shallots, potatoes, stock, a little cream, and herbs. It's wonderfully rich, smooth, and creamy.

Artichoke Soup
Elise Bauer

The foggy coastline of Northern California is artichoke country. Like finding small hole-in-the-walls that serve clam chowder in New England, here one can sometimes find local diners that sell delicious artichoke soup.

I first developed a taste for artichoke soup on frequent trips to Pescadero Beach during college. So when I found this recipe in the New York Times, I couldn't resist.

Over the years we've changed it up a little bit, mostly reducing the butter and cream. The soup is wonderfully rich, smooth, and creamy.

Artichoke Soup
Elise Bauer

Artichoke Soup

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 80 mins
Total Time 105 mins
Servings 8 servings

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.

Adapted from an artichoke soup recipe from Ilo Restaurant in The New York Times, Feb 8, 2004.


  • Hearts from 5 large artichokes (see How to trim an artichoke)

  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, sliced and rinsed (see How to Clean Leeks)

  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (or yellow onion, if shallots aren't available)

  • 8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 12 cups 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 parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns

  • 1/4 cup cream

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Special Equipment

  • Cheesecloth
  • Fine mesh sieve


  1. Prepare the artichoke hearts:

    Peel off the leaves from around the artichokes until you get to the thistly choke in the center.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    (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.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Slice the hearts or chop to a quarter inch thickness.

  2. Cook the artichoke hearts, leek, garlic, shallots in butter:

    Melt the butter in a large, thick-bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the artichoke hearts, sliced leek, garlic, and shallots. Cook until tender, but not brown.

    Elise Bauer
  3. Add the potatoes, stock, herbs, then simmer:

    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.

    Elise Bauer
  4. Purée the soup, push through sieve:

    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.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
275 Calories
14g Fat
26g Carbs
11g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 275
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 665mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 10mg 51%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 669mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.