Creamy Artichoke Soup with Lemon-Garlic Croutons

published Apr 17, 2023
Cream of Artichoke Recipe

Earthy artichoke hearts are simmered with aromatics, blended, and then strained to deliver a silky-smooth soup just in time for spring.

Serves4

Makes6 cups

Prep25 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 35 minutes

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Cream of Artichoke Soup in bowl with croutons and lemons. Blue cloth napkin, lemon wedges, and spoon
Credit: Perry Santanachote

Spinach and artichoke dip is one of my favorites, but when it’s artichoke season I want to enjoy them all on their own. So, I turn to soup — one of my favorite ways to highlight seasonal ingredients (I believe there is always a place for soup, no matter the season). 

Creamy artichoke soup is my top soup pick for spring. In this recipe, earthy artichoke hearts are simmered with aromatics, blended, and then strained to deliver a silky-smooth consistency. I finish the soup with a drizzle of heavy cream and a handful of lemon-garlic croutons to spark that fresh spring flavor. 

Can I Use Frozen Artichokes Instead of Canned?

Yes! Frozen artichokes are cooked and flash frozen at the peak of freshness, so they are as close to fresh artichokes as you can get without putting in any of the work! I prefer to purchase frozen artichokes in a bag rather than a box, because you can remove a portion of the package without defrosting the entire thing. If your grocery store is out of frozen artichokes, three cans of artichoke hearts will work in this recipe too.

Credit: Perry Santanachote

Should You Rinse Canned Artichokes?

Artichokes can be found canned in water or marinated in a flavorful oil. For this recipe, choose the artichokes that are canned in water (save the marinated variety for pastas, salads, and antipasto platters). Drain and rinse the artichokes before adding to the soup to remove any lingering flavors from the can.

How Do You Make Cream of Artichoke Soup?

  • Toss cubed bread with lemon zest and juice, butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Bake the seasoned bread cubes until they become golden-brown, crispy croutons.
  • Sauté onion, garlic, and artichokes in a large pot.
  • Add broth and simmer until artichokes are tender.
  • Blend until smooth, then strain soup to remove any tough, fibrous bits.
  • Stir in heavy cream and lemon juice.
  • Serve soup topped with croutons and drizzled with more heavy cream.

Cream of Artichoke Recipe

Earthy artichoke hearts are simmered with aromatics, blended, and then strained to deliver a silky-smooth soup just in time for spring.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 35 minutes

Makes 6 cups

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the lemon-garlic croutons:

  • 8 ounces

    baguette or unsliced sourdough bread

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 clove

    garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:

  • 3 (12-ounce) packages

    thawed frozen artichoke hearts, or 3 (14-ounce) cans whole artichoke hearts

  • 1

    small yellow onion

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (about 4 cups)

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream, plus more for serving

Instructions

Make the lemon-garlic croutons:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Tear 8 ounces baguette or unsliced sourdough bread into rough 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups). Place on a rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, 20 to 40 seconds. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of melted butter as it is completed: Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 tablespoon). Juice the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons; add 1 tablespoon to the butter and reserve the remaining for the soup; cut any remaining lemon into wedges and reserve for serving. Mince 1 garlic clove.

  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the butter and whisk to combine. Pour evenly over the bread and toss to coat. Arrange into an even layer.

  4. Bake, stirring halfway through, until golden-brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes total. Let the croutons cool on the baking sheet while you make the soup.

Make the soup:

  1. Thaw 3 (12-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts or drain and rinse 3 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts. Finely chop 1 small yellow onion and mince 2 garlic cloves.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and artichoke hearts, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and the artichokes are warmed through, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Add 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer until the artichokes are very tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

  4. Working in batches, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend until completely smooth, about 1 minute per batch. Pour each batch into a large bowl once blended. Fit a fine-mesh strainer over the now-empty pot. Pour the soup through the strainer back into the pot, pressing down with a spatula; discard the contents of the strainer.

  5. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and the reserved 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Cook over medium-low heat until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with more heavy cream, top with lemon-garlic croutons, and serve with the lemon wedges.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The croutons can be prepared up to 5 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Storage: Refrigerate leftover soup in an airtight container for up to 4 days.