If using fresh artichoke hearts, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the artichoke hearts and blanch for 10 minutes, or until slightly tender; a paring knife should slide in easily. Drain the hearts and plunge into an ice bath to "shock" them -- i.e., stop the cooking and cool them quickly. Drain and coarsely chop. If using canned artichokes, simply drain and chop.
Put a large deep saute pan over medium heat and add the butter substitute. When it has melted, add the shallots, garlic, and artichoke hearts and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the wine and sherry and cook for 1 minutes to evaporate some of the alcohol. Add the cashew cream, stock, nutritional yeast flakes, and thyme, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until thick, 35 to 40 minutes; stir occasionally to make sure the cream mixture doesn't stick and burn on the bottom of the pan.
Fold in the kale a few handfuls at a time and continue to simmer until the kale is soft and the artichokes have broken down slightly, about 10 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. (The dip will keep for up to 3 days covered in the refrigerator. To serve, reheat over medium-low heat, stirring often.)
If the dip appears to thick, add a couple of tablespoons of stock or water.
Spoon the dip into a serving bowl, dust with smoked paprika, and serve with the potato chips, crackers, or sliced raw vegetables.