Artichoke Soup

SoupGluten-FreeVegetarianArtichoke

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

Photography Credit: 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

Artichoke Soup Recipe

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

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.

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

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.

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.

3 Add 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.

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.

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.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

27 Comments / Reviews

No ImageArtichoke Soup

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Terry

    Have never used or even tasted artichokes until recently when I had a cup of artichoke soup at a restaurant. Loved it and decided to try making at home, this was the first recipe that popped up when I did a search, so off I went. Just finished cutting out the hearts, man-oh-man that was a LOT of work! Takes all the fun out of eating! Getting ready to cook now so still no idea how it will come out, but judging by most of the comments, I would say the odds of a successful outcome are poor. Plus, I can’t help but wonder at the wisdom/validity of the admonition “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”. That acidic solution is citric acid, which (other than salt) is the only other ingredient in most frozen and canned artichoke hearts. The process for prepping fresh hearts includes using plenty of lemon juice to mitigate oxidation. Lemon juice is essentially citric acid. So … why is it OK to use lemon juice (citric acid) but not OK to use frozen/canned hearts with added citric acid?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Janey

    Wow – this was a lot of work, expensive and not that great! I ended up with a flavorful soup that is really watery. I think 12 cups of stock is way too much – maybe 8? Not quite sure what to do — simmer it down? add a thickener? give up?

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Danielle

    I am allergic to Onions, Garlic, Leeks and Potatoes. Any suggestions for altering the recipes above? I usually am pretty creative but these ingredients seem to dominate here.

    Show Replies (1)
  4. 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.

  5. 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.

View More
Artichoke SoupArtichoke Soup