In large pot, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove bacon to paper toweling to drain. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add leeks to drippings in pot; cook 3 minutes. Add carrot, potato, red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pepper and thyme; cook 4 minutes. Add milk and reserved corn cobs. Increase heat to medium; partially cover pot. Bring to simmering; uncover pot and simmer 10 minutes.
Remove cobs and discard. Stir in kernels, half-and-half and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; simmer 5 minutes. Transfer 2 cups soup mixture to blender. Puree until smooth. Stir puree into pot. Crumble 3 slices cooked bacon into soup. Heat through.
Ladle into bowls. Top with cheese. Crumble remaining 3 slices bacon; sprinkle over bowls.