Spring Artichoke Soup

I’ve always loved artichokes. A simple steamed artichoke with a side of melted butter is a true indulgence.  My mom made them for me like this as a kid, not all that often, but when she did, they were a real treat. Artichokes are themselves a very versatile vegetable and can be used to make numerous things from spinach artichoke dip to a simple, elegant artichoke soup. I was inspired to make this soup by a friend who brought me some beautiful farm-fresh Spring chokes recently, so Andy, this recipe is for you.

The globe artichoke, also known as a French artichoke or green artichoke, comes from a flowering plant (also known as a thistle) that is cultivated as food. The edible portion of the plant consists of flower buds before the flowers bloom. The budding artichoke flower head is actually a cluster of many budding small flowers on an edible base. They look funny, and are often intimidating to cook, but have the most wonderful, unique, earthy flavor that’s seductive and memorable to the palate.

Summer artichoke soup

From a health perspective, artichokes themselves are considered low in fat, and rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Artichokes are particularly high in folate and vitamins C and K and contain important minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron, and rank among the most antioxidant-rich of all vegetables. The takeaway, these guys are loaded with nutritional value and you should eat more artichokes in your diet.

Summer artichoke soup

This soup is a lighter soup for Springtime, and while it does contain some heavy cream (that’s the French chef in me) it is not overly rich, as many soups with cream can be, and the texture is smooth. Crispy fried artichokes add texture and finish the soup in a complimentary way so take the time to make them, as they are much more than just a simple garnish.

Cooking with artichokes can be intimidating, I totally get it. Let’s change that.  Knowing how to work with this wonderful vegetable is the only way you will ever conquer your fears. For steaming an artichoke, it’s all about trimming. Once you get the hang of that, it only takes a few minutes. Making soup with fresh artichokes is the next level up. For more extensive tips, tricks, and visuals on working and prepping artichokes for this soup or others check out this link.

Tips on buying artichokes: Artichokes are at their peak from March until June. The farm stand ones are the very best if you can find them, but of at the grocery store, look for artichokes that are firm and heavy with a dark green color and tightly closed leaves. The heavier the choke, the fresher it is.

Summer artichoke soup

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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