In a large saucepan, over medium heat, saute onion, carrots, and celery in 1/4 cup of the butter. Add bay leaf, thyme, oregano, cayenne, broth, mushrooms, and artichokes. Simmer 15-20 minutes.
In small skillet mely remaining butter over low heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Stir into artichoke mixture. Slowly add cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you like a bite, add a bit more cayenne to taste, also.
Cook about 5 minutes more until entire mixture is slightly thickened and heated throughout. Serve immediately.
Optional: Garnish with parsley or red pepper flakes.
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