To a 6-quart slow cooker, add the frozen potatoes, onion, chicken broth, ham, garlic powder, thyme, and pepper.
Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
When the cooking time is up, add the cream cheese to a blender, and scoop some broth and hot potatoes into the blender with the cream cheese, just enough to get the blender moving, cover and blend until smooth.
Add the cream cheese mixture back into the rest of the soup in the slow cooker. Add the shredded cheese and stir until melted.
Check seasoning and add salt & pepper to taste. Serve warm with bread and butter.
Don't buy pre-shredded cheese for this recipe! It won't melt as well as block cheese shredded at home.