I found a good deal on a Dutch oven, which I've always wanted, and began a search for recipes. I found this one for French Onion Soup, and it is as good/better than anything I've had in a restaurant! We love it!
Funny thing is, I still had this set of crock bowls with covers and straw "plates" from probably the 70s or 80s. Truly never used them. Don't know why I didn't give them to Goodwill. But now I actually use them!
You can play with the cheeses and bread as you like them. I'm not sure what I would use in place of sherry if you don't want to use that. Any suggestions?
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, add butter and melt over medium heat. Add the onions and lower the heat to medium low. Add the thyme leaves and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions start to turn golden brown, about 25 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until the sherry is almost completely evaporated and the unions are brown; about 15 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Ladle the soup into 8 oven-proof soup bowls. Place the soup bowls on a baking sheet. Place the croutons or French bread on top of the soup to cover. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup grated cheese (or however much you want!) Place in the oven and cook until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly; about 10 minutes.