Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and butter the bottoms and sides of four 1-cup capacity ramekins. Line the bottoms of the ramekins with parchment paper. Place them in a large baking dish.
Add the artichoke bottoms and half & half to a blender or processor fitted with a metal blade, blitz it like crazy until smooth.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, whisk in the flour, and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to whisk every 15 - 20 seconds. The flour should brown and cook, but not burn.
Stir in the artichoke cream, 1/2 cup of the cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme, and the salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes until the cheese melts. The mixture will be thick. Remove from the heat.
Separate the eggs, add a pinch of salt to the egg whites, and beat them to medium stiff peaks. I use a hand mixer for this. You'll know they're ready when you dip the beaters into the egg whites and turn the beaters upside down. The egg white tips should be defined but droop.
Temper the egg yolks with the artichoke mixture but whisking the artichoke mixture into the eggs one large spoonful at a time. I use a large serving spoon for this.
Fold in the whipped egg whites. The best way to do this is by folding in only 1/3 of the whipped egg whites at a time, using a large spatula. There will be some lumps of whipped eggs whites when you're done.
Ladle the soufflé batter into the prepared ramekins, about 3/4 full. Pour very hot or boiling water into the baking dish, about half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 10 minutes, and reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour.