If you have an afternoon to kill......why not give this French Onion Soup recipe a try? It isn't difficult, so you can get house work done while it's in the oven for the first few hours, and during the last simmer time too.
French Onion Soup
3 tbsp butter
4 pounds yellow or cooking onions sliced 1/4 inch thick
salt to taste
2 cups water, plus extra for deglazing
1/2 cup dry sherry
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
6 sprigs thyme, tied together
1 bay leaf
ground black pepper
French bread, cut 1/2 inch thick to fit in soup bowls
2 cups shredded greyere cheese
Place sliced onions, butter and pinch of salt into a greased (sprayed) large dutch oven. Cook covered for 1 hour in a preheated 400 F oven on the rack on lower middle position. Remove from oven and stir onions scraping and onion stuck on sides or bottom. Return to oven with lid ajar for up to 1 3/4 hours stirring after 1 more hour. Remove pot and place over medium high heat for about 15 minutes. This is to allow a brown crust to form on the bottom of the pot. Turn heat down if the browning is occurring too quickly. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup of water and repeat this process 3 more times. (each time takes about 15 minutes you don't want it to burn!) Now do an additional deglazing with the sherry, after which you will leave on the heat for 5 minutes or until the sherry has evaporated. Now add the water, chicken broth, beef broth, thyme and bay leaf. Increase heat to bring to a simmer then reduce it to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes. You may add additional beef stock if you find the soup is too thick with onions...as my husband did. Discard spices and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Put bread slices in a 400 F oven to toast on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes or until golden, then remove.
Raise oven rack to 6 inches below broiler and turn on broiler. Fill broiler safe bowls with soup and top with toasted bread slices and shredded cheese. Broil on a baking sheet until cheese if melted and bubbling, about 3 minutes. What them carefully and make sure that the bread is covered by cheese as the exposed bread might burn from the high heat. Cool 5 minutes, then serve.