The Netherlands is located in Northwest Europe and has a population of 16.6 million people. It is a geographically low-lying country, with about 20% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level. The capital is Amsterdam, and the seat of government is The Hague. Although the Netherlands is sometimes called Holland, Holland is actually a region in the Netherlands. The Netherlands have 12 regions/provinces including North-Holland (Noord-Holland) and South-Holland (Zuid-Holland). Among other affiliations, the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, OECD and WTO.
Parliamentary Democracy under Constitutional Monarchy
"What a rewarding experience- we didn't know much about The Netherlands before we hosted Lucas, and now we have a Dutch son who will be part of our family for life."
— The Whitley family
Dutch Pea Soup
Rinse the split peas. Mix water, peas, pork, and bacon, bring to a boil and skim off floating bits.
While peas and meat are cooking, prepare the vegetables: peel and dice the potatoes and carrot. Cut the leeks and wash them. Add the vegetables to the pan and let simmer until the peas are done (one and a half to two hours, the split peas must be broken).
Take the meat out of the pan and cut it in small pieces. Return the meat to the pan. Chop the celery. Twenty minutes before the end of cooking add the whole smoked sausage and the celery. Taste, finish off with pepper and salt. Serve with warm bread.