Thaw Baby Artichokes (18 ounce) and roughly chop into halves or quarters.
Remove dark green parts from Leek (2). Slice white parts in half lengthwise and chop into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices. Rinse leeks well in water to remove any sand and drain in colander.
Slice the Garlic (3 clove), no need to mince.
Peel and cut Yukon Gold Potato (1) in half and then into 1/4 inch slices.
Heat Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (1/4 cup) in a large stock pot over medium heat.
Add leeks, potatoes, and garlic and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the leaves from the Fresh Thyme (4 sprig), and discard the twigs.
Add artichokes, Chicken Stock (32 fluid ounce), thyme leaves, Salt (1/4 teaspoon), Ground Black Pepper (1 teaspoon) and Cayenne Pepper (1/8 teaspoon). Bring to a simmer and cook until artichokes and potatoes are very soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before handling.
Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients together in the stock pot until you have a smooth puree. If the soup is too thick, add Water (to taste) to reach the desired consistency.
Continuing with the immersion blender, blend in the Heavy Cream (1/4 cup), add Salt (to taste) and Ground Black Pepper (to taste).
Return blended soup to stovetop to warm soup before serving.
Cook Cured Ham (3 ounce) in frying pan until slightly crispy. Using kitchen shears, cut the ham into ¼ slices.
Ladle into bowls, drizzle with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (to taste) and sprinkle with crispy ham.