Cook chopped bacon in a large non-stick soup pot over medium-high heat until lightly browned but not crisp. Stir in onions, celery, red pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add thyme and flour. Mix well. Stir in broth and evaporated milk. Bring mixture to a gentle boil and stir continuously until soup thickens slightly.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.