In 3 to 4-quart slow cooker, combine potatoes, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and pepper; stir gently to mix. Pour broth and beer over vegetables.
Cover; cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours.
About 10 minutes before serving, coarsely mash vegetables with potato masher or fork. Add cheese and whipping cream; stir until cheese is melted. Cover; cook an additional 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with croutons.
To make croutons, arrange a single layer of cubed rye bread on a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven at 350'F for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the croutons are golden and dry.Servings: 6 to 8