In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from saucepan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble bacon and set aside.
Cook onion in the reserved drippings over medium heat until tender. Stir in the milk, corn, potatoes, soup, pepper, and thyme (if desired). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. If desired, mash slightly. To serve, ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle bacon over each serving. Makes 4 servings.