Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large saucepan.
Remove any torn or discolored outer leaves from the spouts and then trim and cut out cores.
Add sprouts to the boiling water and blanch for 3-5 minutes; drain and fince with cold water until cool enough to handle. Separate sprouts into leaves and blot dry with paper towels (they can be prepared one day ahead and placed in plastic bag in the fridge).
In a skilled cook bacon over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings.
Reduce heat to medium low and add sprout leaves, bacon pieces, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute for 2-5 minutes, tossing gently or until heated through.