Shadowbrook’s Artichoke Soup Recipe

Today’s Best Recipe is Shadowbrook’s Artichoke Soup! Smooth, creamy artichoke soup from the artichoke capital of the world.

It’s the next best thing to being there.

In the next town south of Santa Cruz, California where we stayed at the Dream Inn Hotel, is a restaurant in the hills of Capitola.

The menu is everything a seaside restaurant should offer with superior quality and taste.

In fact, Shadowbrook may be the classiest, fine dining restaurant in Capitola.

It’s definitely one of Capitola’s most famous restaurants.

artichoke soup


The History of Shadowbrook Restaurant:

The Shadowbrook Restaurant was in 1947 and is now a Santa Cruz County landmark that has served generations of residents.

The restaurant sits along Soquel Creek.

The building that is now Shadowbrook was initially a cabin that was built as a summer home for Ernestine Fowler in the 1920s.

The cabin shifted owners a number of times and then found itself abandoned.

Five years after the cabin was abandoned, a 24-year-old newlywed, Brad McDonald, thought it would make a great restaurant.

McDonald and his wife Bea, partnered with Virginia and Ed Philippet and they opened the restaurant’s doors in 1947.

The four of them served drinks and seated guests.

A few years later, more space was added with an old red cable car, that is now emblematic of the restaurant.

Alfred Hitchcock was a frequent guest.

When McDonald became the first mayor of Capitola in 1954, he sold his share of the restaurant.

The Phillippets sold their shares before the 1960s.

Bob Clark and Mike McClellan became the owners of Shadowbrook in the 1970s and their renovation took on the crumbling and now antique structure.

They added a cupola-style entry.

Once renovated McClellan and Clark sold the restaurant to Bob Burke, and his partner, Bob Munsey.

Burke and Munsey changed the restaurant layout, creating an enclosed greenhouse-style space where the old patio was and adding a cocktail area to the roof.

A wine cellar was added in the 1980s and they began a bakery operation that made wedding cakes and pastries.

Burke focused on renovating old walkways and landscaping the property and by 1994, the Redwood Room, located above the restaurant’s kitchen was complete.

In 1997, the renovation of Shadowbrook’s iconic Rock Room bar, the oldest part of the restaurant was complete.

The roof was raised, allowing more sunlight into the room and a new sound system was installed for live music nights.

Shadowbrook Restaurant offers amazing views, a nostalgic atmosphere and some of the best food I’ve encountered.

One of my favorites there is their creamy artichoke soup.

I don’t get to go often, it’s now on the other side of the country, but I have the memories of the artichoke field where I stood watching the ocean roll in and crash against the rocks.

This is a soup that reminds me of that memory and my children LOVE the stuff!

This recipe is from Shadowbrook’s website. It is a smooth, creamy soup that is rich in flavors.

It gets devoured when I make it.


  • (2) 8.5-ounce cans, drained artichoke hearts
  • 1 Medium potato, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2  celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/8 cup Italian Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Shadowbrook’s Creamy Artichoke Soup Directions:

Cook vegetables, including artichoke hearts until soft, approx 10-12 minutes.


In a blender, purée cooked vegetables (add canned artichoke hearts here) and optional garlic.

Return to pot.

Add the herbs and stock.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Make a roux with the melted butter and flour over medium heat.

Add the half and half, stirring until smooth.

Add to soup.

Bring soup back up to boil and season with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice to taste.

To thin the soup, add more half and half.

To thicken, add more roux.

Makes about 6-8 ounce servings.

You might also enjoy this recipe for Artichokes.

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