It does look a lot like a parsnip but just one look at the attached foliage and it's real identity becomes obvious
Both the root and the leaves are edible - taste-wise, the root has elements of celeriac, parsnip and apple while the leaves are exactly like herb parsley. For a longer life, you should keep the leaves attached and only remove them when its time to use the root.
While it isn't necessary to peel the root I have in the case of the dish I've made - a simple but creamy Parsley Root Soup.
Parsley Root Soup
[Serves 4 as a starter]
1 parsley root, peeled, cut into small chunks (300 grams)
1 potato, peeled, cut into small chunks (150 grams)
1 leek, finely diced (50 grams)
salt and freshly ground white pepper
As with most of the pure vegetable soups I make these days, I use milk rather than stock. I find it really accentuates the natural flavours of the vegetable and gives the soup a delicious creamy texture.
Place a knob of butter in a saucepan over a low heat and when melted add the leek. Allow the leek to soften but not colour and after about 5 minutes add in the parsley root - stir it well and then add the potato. Give it a brief stir and then add enough milk to cover the vegetables completely.
Let this simmer very slowly until the vegetables have completely softened.
Strain, reserving the liquid and place the solids into a blender - process until smooth adding back the liquid to create a smooth base.
If you like a velvety texture then I would recommend passing this mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
The soup at this stage will be quite thick - add back enough milk until it reaches your perferred consistency. Taste and then season with salt and pepper as desired.
Place it back on a low heat and allow it to come back to serving temperature - remove from heat and serve at once.