Cream of Artichoke Soup

Perhaps the vegetable that defines California's Central Coast most is the artichoke. Indeed, the town of Castroville is nicknamed the Artichoke Center of the World. Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero has been serving patrons since 1894. One of its specialties? This soup that's all about the thistle.

Cream of Artichoke Soup
Photo: Eric Wolfinger
Active Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins


  • 2 lemons, halved

  • 5 pounds fresh artichokes (6-8 large)

  • 6 cups no-chicken or low-sodium chicken broth, divided

  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • ¼ cup water

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Squeeze the juice from 3 lemon halves into a large bowl of cold water and add the rinds; keep the remaining lemon half handy. Discard the outer leaves of an artichoke, snapping them off at the base until you reach the pale yellow leaves with darker green tops. Slice off the green tops to reveal the fuzzy choke in the center (if you don't see it on the first cut, cut a little lower until it is visible). With a melon baller or grapefruit spoon, remove the choke. Rub the top of the exposed heart with the lemon half. Using a paring knife, trim any woody or brown part of the stem and then peel the remaining stem. Trim around the base of the artichoke to remove any fibrous green portions. Rub with the lemon half and drop the artichoke heart into the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes (you should have 12 to 14 ounces of artichoke hearts).

  2. Drain the artichoke hearts and transfer to a large pot. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the artichokes are tender, about 5 minutes.

  3. Transfer the artichokes and 3 cups of the hot broth to a blender. Add garlic and blend until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return the mixture to the pot with the remaining hot broth. Add butter and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour to concentrate the flavors.

  4. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl; gradually whisk into the soup and cook, stirring, until the soup bubbles and thickens, about 1 minute. Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper; heat through.

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

188 Calories
9g Fat
24g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 3/4 cup
Calories 188
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 6g 12%
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Vitamin A 673IU 13%
Sodium 483mg 21%
Potassium 585mg 12%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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