Line a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with a Reynolds(R) Slow Cooker Liner. Open slow cooker liner and place it inside a slow cooker bowl. Fit liner snugly against the bottom and sides of bowl; pull top of liner over rim of bowl.
Place all ingredients, except bay leaf and cheese, in slow cooker liner. Stir gently using a wooden or plastic spoon to mix ingredients. Place bay leaves on top of ingredients. Place lid on slow cooker.
Cover on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
Carefully remove lid to allow steam to escape. Remove bay leaves. Gently stir in cheese. Serve chowder directly from slow cooker liner. Sprinkle each serving with additional shredded cheese, if desired. Do not lift or transport liner with food inside. Cool slow cooker completely; remove liner and toss.