How to Make It
Place potatoes, ham hocks, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a 7-quart slow cooker; add broth, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH until potatoes are tender, 4 hours. Remove ham hocks, and place on a plate to cool 15 minutes.
Puree soup in slow cooker with an immersion blender until it’s creamy but whole pieces of potato are still visible. Add cream, and stir. Once ham hocks are cool enough to handle, remove all meat and chop; discard fat and bone. Add meat to soup, and stir to combine.
If you don’t own an immersion blender, transfer half of the hot soup to a regular blender. Remove the center piece on the blender’s lid to allow steam to escape. Secure lid on the blender, and cover opening with a towel; process until smooth. Return pureed potato soup to the slow cooker.