Dutch language and culture: cooking together is a great activity for that. Did you know?

Consider the following activities you need to do together with your child to get it done: Reading the recipe, buying ingredients (making the shopping list, reading it, finding and paying for it), finding and naming the necessary products in the kitchen, ditto for all the kitchen utensils you need. And, then, you haven’t made anything yet.

Reading the different steps in the recipe and following them. Measurements, times, and cooking tasks all come into play. What a wealth of language.

Of course, you are going to make typical Dutch dishes! And that’s where the culture piece comes in. Choose your (grand)mother’s favorite dish or another of your favorites from Holland.

We have collected 3 simple but typical Dutch dishes to inspire you. With each dish, we start with a bit of history, then the supplies, and then how to make the dish.

Our teachers regularly cook with our students. Yes, online, with help from parents, but always with great pleasure and success. So the team at Dutch for Children wishes you lots of fun cooking and, for later, “Enjoy your meal!” or in Dutch: Eet smakelijk!

If you like, you can also read this article in Dutch via this link.


Typical Dutch dishes

1. Dutch original recipe of poffertjes

History of poffertjes

Although everyone assumes that old Dutch poffertjes come from Holland, their origin lies in France. At the end of the 18th century, they were made there in a monastery where Hosties for the church were also made. Due to a shortage of wheat flour, the monks began to experiment and thus laid the basis for the old Dutch poffertjes.

Different versions of poffertjes recipes can be found. Some use flour and baking powder or self-rising baking flour. Personally, we like to make them the traditional way, with yeast and buckwheat flour.


Needed for 90 poffertjes:
  • ! a poffertjes pan !
  • 150 g flour
  • 100 g buckwheat flour
  • salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 7 g dried yeast
  • 400 ml lukewarm milk
  • 2 medium eggs
How to make:
  • Put flour, buckwheat flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Mix it briefly with a whisk.
  • Add the yeast. Then slowly add the milk while stirring. This until all the milk is added. Mix until the milk is completely absorbed.
  • Add the eggs. Mix until you have a smooth batter with no lumps. You can use a hand blender for this if necessary.
  • Cover the bowl with the batter with cling film. Let it stand at room temperature for about an hour and a half. Once the batter has stood, you can pour it into a measuring bottle or water bottle. If you don’t have either, you can quietly pour the batter into the poffertjes pan, if necessary, or use a small gravy ladle.
  • Put the poffertjes pan on the stove and make sure it is hot.
  • Put butter in all the rounds.
  • Fry the poffertjes until the bottom begins to brown and the batter begins to become “dry” on top. Then turn them over. You can use a skewer or fork for this. If the poffertjes bake too quickly, turn down the heat.
  • When the poffertjes are golden brown on both sides, they are done. Remove the poffertjes from the pan and place them on a plate.
  • Sprinkle the poffertjes plentifully with powdered sugar and add a knob of butter.
  • Poffertjes are best when they are still warm.

Here you can see on video how powdered sugar is made.

poedersuiker uit een zeef op tafel gestrooid


2. From Leiden: the Hutspot



Hutspot as the very first stamppot. The stamppot is a typical Dutch dish and can be composed of different types of vegetables. For example, in the form of hutspot which nowadays consists of a combination of potatoes, carrots, onion, and klapstuk (beef with fat).

Hutspot now consists of these ingredients, but during Leidens Ontzet in 1574, it was more of a general name for a compound stew, but without potatoes. At that time, one-pot meals were given this name, as were other designations such as kettle stew. It was the Spanish troops who prepared their food this way. They had to leave the camp alone and leave the food behind.

It turned out that the meal consisted of a combination of carrots, onions, and parsnips that had been mashed. The inhabitants of Leiden ate it and called the dish hutspot.

This video from NPO Start also shows it in pictures. Fun to watch together with your child!

Needed for 4 people:
  • 1.2 kg floury potato
  • 400 g medium-sized onions
  • 600 g winter carrots
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1.5 l water
  • 375 g smoked sausages
  • 100 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • masher

In een rondje op tafel ui en peen met groen


How to make:

1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into equal pieces. Cut the onions into half rings. Peel the carrot and cut into 1-inch slices. Heat half the butter in a large pan or soup pan and sauté the onion for 2 min over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and fry for 2 min. Add the potatoes, water, and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 min until the vegetables and potatoes are tender. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat the smoked sausage according to package directions. Heat the milk over low heat, but do not let it boil. Mash the potatoes and stew vegetables with the masher until pureed. Add the milk, remaining butter, and nutmeg and stir into the stew. Season with pepper and salt, if desired.



3. A typical Dutch dish not to be missed is erwtensoep or snert

The history of snert

Erwtensoep is one of the other typical Dutch dishes that is popular to eat in winter. In the Netherlands, the dish is also known as snert. Because of its thick composition, it is not really a liquid soup, because, in real snert the spoon stands upright. Split peas are the basis for this meal soup, which incidentally has origins outside the Netherlands. Soup made from peas goes back to the time before the start of the Christian era.

In the Netherlands, the first known recipe for pea soup dates back to the beginning of the sixteenth century. In addition to split peas, carrot, leek, onion, and potato are the ingredients for this soup. The potatoes make the snert thick, as they fall apart during the cooking process. It is common to also add meat or smoked sausage to the soup. Furthermore, there is often a side dish in the form of rye bread topped with cat bacon or cheese. There are also Dutch people who have the tradition of eating pancakes with syrup after the erwtensoep.

Also, watch this video from Schooltv with your child about where pea soup comes from.

gevulde erwtensoep in kom


Needed for 6-person soup:

  • 500 gr split peas
  • 1 leek
  • 2 liters of water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 250 gr celeriac
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 potato (250 gr )
  • 1 smoked sausage (275 gr)
  • 300 gr shoulder chops
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A few sprigs of celery (25 gr)
  • 1 onion
How to make:

1. Bring 2 liters of water with the stock cubes, split peas, and bay leaf to a boil. Add the shoulder chops whole. Simmer gently for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2. Peel the carrot, potato, and celeriac and cut into about 1-inch cubes. Cut the leeks into rings and wash them well. Peel and finely chop the onion. Also, coarsely chop the celery.

3. After about 1 hour of cooking, you will notice that the split peas begin to fall apart and a green mass forms. Some split peas break up earlier or later than others. Stir well a few times to speed this up.

4. Remove the shoulder chops from the pan, cut them into pieces, and add to the soup along with the sliced vegetables and potato. Simmer the soup for about ½ more hour until the vegetables n and potato are tender and have shrunk. Cut the smoked sausage into slices, stir them into the pea soup for the last few minutes, and heat through well. Season the pea soup with a little extra salt and pepper if necessary.

Additional tips on making pea soup:
  • Use Valle del solle brand dried split peas. I did not soak these beforehand but rinse them once under the cold tap.
  • You can also add bacon strips along with the shoulder chops.
  • The soup is often thicker in texture and even tastier the next day. Store it in the refrigerator.
  • You can freeze pea soup very well and do so in tightly sealed containers for up to 3 months.
  • Serve the pea soup with some bread, rye bread with cat bacon, or Indian style with rice and sambal.

Looking for more Dutch language and culture?

Then be sure to read this article about how we weave Dutch culture into our lessons, among other things. When you teach a language, you cannot separate it from the culture. Culture and language are so intertwined that you cannot teach without the other. You can read more through this link about the Dutch Language and Culture from practice.