How to Get Over Fresher’s Flu With Culinary Cures

Lemon & Ginger Tea with Honey 

Words by Rosenwyn Dorrell

It doesn’t matter how you got it, all you know now is your throat hurts, you can’t breathe through your nose, and you’ve prodded your tonsils with swabs enough to be assured that it’s not Covid. 

Yes, it’s Freshers Flu. 

The go-to method might be paracetamol and cough syrup, but turning to more holistic approaches could be better for instant relief. 

You may have heard of the classic hot lemon and honey or lemon and ginger tea (often served for people who are not really coffee or tea fans); but my go-to fix for this sort of bug is to combine these together and have a chilled-out afternoon. 

‘This drink really feels like a hug in a mug’

This recipe is as easy as boiling the kettle because that is all there is to it. Get yourself some lemon and ginger tea – you can buy tea bags from most supermarkets, or loose-leaf tea from somewhere like Bird and Blend – a lemon and some honey. Any honey will do, I prefer spreadable honey rather than runny honey, but whatever you have in the cupboard will work. 

Boil the kettle, squeeze half a lemon (or the whole thing if you’re feeling particularly grotty), add the tea, pour the hot water in, stir in a teaspoon of honey and then remove the tea bag or strainer. Then sit down with some biscuits and your favourite medical drama and relax. 

You may want to experiment with the amount of honey and lemon, or even push the boat out and try a different type of tea. This drink really feels like a hug in a mug and a miracle sure at the same time! 

Hearty Vegetable Beany Bake 

Words by Beth Mendleton

Don’t let the word vegetable scare you…this recipe is so tasty and most importantly is packed with nutrients and proteins your body needs after being savaged by fresher’s flu.  

Time to delete Uber Eats and pick up the chopping board – ease your way back into student cooking with this simple dish that will feed you and your housemates for a few days. Or just pop the extra portions in the freezer! 


  • 450g Sweet Potato 
  • 1 Onion (Red or white) 
  • 1 Courgette, halved and chopped
  • 1 Bell Pepper, thinly sliced (whatever colour you like) 
  • 400g tin of kidney beans or mixed beans 
  • 50g Feta or 30g Parmesan
  • Seasoning: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes 


  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes, add to a pot of boiling, salted water for 15 minutes until a knife easily goes through them 
  • Whilst the potatoes are boiling, chop the onion and fry in some oil for a few minutes until softened 
  • Add the sliced pepper and courgette and fry for a further 5 minutes until all the veg is softened 
  • Add the beans and seasoning to the vegetables (don’t worry if you don’t have all the spices – just add what you like, it’s great with a bit of heat). Add a splash of water to the pan and cook for a few more minutes. Scatter over half the cheese, tip into an oven-proof dish and set aside. 
  • Drain the potatoes and mash – add a splash of milk and a knob of butter if you like it extra smooth.  
  • Spread the mash on top of the veg, sprinkle on the rest of the cheese and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until slightly browned on top. 
  • Serve on its own or with some more green veg 

Cheesy Tomato Soup 

Words by Beth Mendleton

Let’s be honest, when you’re struck down by fresher’s flu there is a stage where you are so tired that you can’t hack a cooking session even when you desperately need a nutritious meal. 

‘you will barely have to leave your blanket cocoon in order to make it’

This recipe is a life-saver, very low-maintenance but high reward! I can guarantee it will soothe your sore throat and fill you up – and you will barely have to leave your blanket cocoon in order to make it. 

What is simpler than a tin of tomato soup – my personal choice would be Heinz but any will do! I couldn’t really get away with writing a whole article on a can of soup so here is how you can jazz it up a bit to make your lunch a tad more exciting and something to look forward to when you feel like death. 

First, heat up your soup, either in the microwave or on the hob. Grab a block of cheddar from the fridge (it’s got to be at least mature for me but whatever floats your boat). Grate the cheddar directly into the steaming bowl of tomatoey goodness and stop when the level of cheese meets your desired taste. 

Now, if your flu is nearing its end stages and you feel up for putting in a little more effort – feel free to rustle up a cheese toastie to have on the side. I love a humble toastie as a golden, gooey vehicle for getting the hot soup into my belly.  

So, put your feet up, dig in and let the warmth of the soup soothe your throat and the gentle steam clear up your clogged sinuses – and hope you will be better in time for Yolo next week.