How to Make Vegetable Pureé

Essentially a vegetable pureé is just a ratio of vegetable to liquid. The veggies can be cooked or not as you please and you can make it with any vegetable or combination of vegetables, use any appropriate liquid, salt, herbs or spices. Pick your favorite and everyone chooses mashed potatoes.

The more fibrous your vegetables are, the more body the pureé will lend to your dish if you are using it as an ingredient. You can also make a very thick pureé and use it as a side dish or smear it on the plate and place slices of steak and salad on to, as an element of presentation.

Puree with Root Vegetables

Root veggies are the easiest to get right. Carrots, pumpkin, celeriac, turnips, parsnips, parsley root, and co are all good candidates.

Helpful Hints and Gotcha’s

Ingredient Helpful Hints and Gotcha’s
Carrots Are often very sweet. Balance with fat and lemon juice
Pumpkin Can also be sweet. Balance with savory spices
Parsnips Yep, they too can be very sweet…
Potatoes Don’t put potatoes in the food processor if you are not making glue.1

So, let’s try it with carrots…gitcherself a handful of the freshest carrots you can find. Tops off and cut them in chunks. Take a random chunk and cut off a slice. Taste it. Carrots are sometimes very sweet and other times, not at all. The taster slice will tell you what you are working with.

Put your carrots in a pot with a small amount of liquid. Eyeball this “small amount” and aim for about 1/4 the volume of the vegetable. So, for 2 cups of cut up carrots, use about 1/2 cup of liquid.2 Cover and cook gently until soft. Mash’em with a fork, a potato masher, a ricer, a blender or your food processor. It doesn’t matter what you do to carrots. Carrots are very forgiving.

Puree with Nightshades

Making pureé with zucchini, aubergine, tomatoes is also very easy, but you’re going to need a lot less additional liquid because these vegetables contain a lot of it themselves. Let’s take an equal-part mixture of zucchini, aubergine and tomatoes.

Wash and chunk or grate them with a food processor (the cooking part goes faster this way) and put them, wet in the pan or pot. Cover and cook quietly on low adding liquid as needed to maintain consistency. If it all gets too wet because you accidentally added too much liquid, just remove the lid for awhile and let the mixture cook down.

Helpful Hints and Gotcha’s

Aubergine like to absorb liquid when you aren’t looking.3 That’s why I suggest keeping your liquid additions fluid.


  1. Mash them nicely with a potato masher or put them through a ricer. 

  2. Among other smart things the good folks over at Harvest to Table say, in their excellent tutorial on How to Make Purée Vegetable Soup Without a Recipe is this: “one pound of vegetables equals about 2¼ cups.” 

  3. Balance by keeping the heat low and adding liquid slowly as you need it to maintain consistency.