Parsnips are a member of the root vegetable family that are closely related to the carrot. They're pale yellow in colour, and they have a sweet, savoury and slightly spicy flavour when roasted that some liken to honey and cardamom. Parsnips are incredibly versatile and can be used in a huge variety of ways – they can be eaten raw, boiled, roasted, pickled, fried, sautéed or mashed, and they work wonderfully well with strong or sweet flavours, making them perfect for roasting with honey or blending into a soup with curry powder or paprika. We've got plenty of parsnip recipes below, from simple buttered parsnips to beetroot and parsnip soup to deep-fried parsnip crisps, there's something here for everyone.

Parsnips are actually a very close relative of the parsley herb – making them a perfect match for parsley in soups or stews. They are also fairly quick to cook, and often, they don't even need to be peeled – especially if the parsnips are relatively young and the skins are not too thick. When roasting parsnips, be sure to cut them into even-sized pieces – because they contain quite a lot of sugar they can burn fairly easily, so any small slivers could blacken while in the oven.

Parsnip roots are edible, but the leaves and shoots of the parsnip can actually cause a chemical reaction when they come into contact with the skin – so when gardening parsnips, long gloves and long sleeves should be worn.

The sweetness of parsnips makes them work incredibly well in savoury dishes, but also in sweet dishes – in much the same way that carrots are used in cakes. We've got a parsnip cupcake recipe above – a totally new way to try out this versatile veggie. Need any more motivation to get cooking parsnips? They are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients and they are incredibly good for you.