It’s that time of year again! Students are settling back in after a relaxing summer, only to suffer at the hands of the dreaded ‘Freshers’ Flu’. This flu is a universal experience for college students. Chances are you’ll probably come down with the flu at least once in your university year, if you haven’t already.
Why is this flu so common? Well, there are various causes of freshers’ flu, namely heavy alcohol consumption, stress, tiredness, and poor diet. These all weaken our immune system and leave us susceptible to contracting colds and viruses. Not to mention, mingling with new people throughout the first few weeks could introduce us to viruses, although this one, we can’t really avoid!
While Freshers’ Flu is no real cause for panic of course, it is quite an inconvenience for us hard workers. Fear not, freshers! There are ways to lessen your symptoms. Drink plenty of water, maybe switch that ‘casual pint’ to a nice warm cup of tea. Lastly, eat (somewhat) healthy food.
With that said, during times of sickness, we often turn to one special meal for the cure. Here is a recipe for an autumn soup, it makes four servings, so it’s an easy one to keep in the fridge and heat up as you need, perfect for students. For our vegetarian readers, simply replace the chorizo with an ingredient of your choice. (For example, another vegetable or beans/lentils).
Butternut squash and chorizo soup
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped.
1 butternut squash
3 garlic cloves, chopped.
1 teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon chilli flakes (if you like it spicy!)
550ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Salt and black pepper to taste.
1 small potato
65g chorizo, chopped (many supermarkets sell pre-chopped chorizo)
Brown bread or fresh baguette
- Preheat your oven to 220°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Slice the squash down the middle and lay the two halves face up on the tray. Drizzle each half with about a half tablespoon each and rub in. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Turn the squash face down and roast until it is soft, this takes about 45 minutes. Leave the squash to cool down for 10 minutes afterwards.
- In a large pot, heat the remainder of the oil. Add ¾ of the onion and a pinch of salt. Stir until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add the butternut squash flesh to the pot, discarding the skins. Add the maple syrup, herbs (save some rosemary for the topping), vegetable stock, and some black pepper.
- Use a hand blender (if you’re using a stand mixer, transfer the contents of the pot into the mixer) to blend all the ingredients until they are all blended thoroughly. Add more stock if you desire a thinner consistency.
- For the topping, boil the diced potato halfway (about 8 minutes).
- Add your chorizo to a pan (no need for oil, the fat from the chorizo will melt). Add your semi-soft potato to the pan along with the remainder of the onion and the rest of the rosemary. Cook until all the ingredients are covered in the chorizo juices.
- Spoon the soup into bowls and top with the potato-chorizo mix. Serve with buttered brown bread or fresh baguette.