My brother jokes that he could always tell when I was cooking French onion soup. The fire alarm would go off, and I’d run a batch of former-croutons to the field across the road.
That was back when I cooked for four people who liked it (or didn’t admit to not liking it).
For those who don’t know, French Onion Soup is onions in beef broth (with other flavourings, and everyone cooks the onions a different amount — I fry mine in butter until they just start to caramelize), topped with croutons and cheese, and broiled. They even make fancy bowls with handles to go in the oven for broiling.
Only two people in the current household like it. It’s a lot of work for only two people, and running the oven for only two bowls is a waste of energy. I used to broil it in the toaster oven, but then you had two hot bowls to maneuver.
While the broth and onions are cooking, make open-face grilled-cheese sandwiches in the toaster, then put a sandwich in each bowl before serving.
No more crouton cooking. You don’t have to move super-hot bowls from the oven to the table. You can use normal bowls that might not survive an oven. Even nicer, you don’t have to clean burnt cheese from the bowl.