Take ham bone out of crockpot. Let cool till be able to shred meat off the bone. Fish out bay leaf and discard. As bone is cooling, using your immersion blender (or if you want using the blender method), puree your mixture till your desired consistency. I like to puree mine silky, but still leave some carrots, for texture. Here comes the secret ingredient. Add your instant flaked potatoes in increments, and using a whisk, make sure all the potatoes are disolved. The soup will be nice and thick and creamy and oh my oh my... just delicious!!