In large stock pot, melt butter with reserved bacon grease and saute onion, bell pepper, potato and garlic for about 10 minutes until just starting to change color.
Add corn, stock, chipotles, adobo, bacon, cumin and paprika See Photo
Simmer over medium/low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork tender. See Photo
Add lime juice and stir well.
Remove part of the soup by the ladle full and process in blender until desired consistency. You can do as much or as little of the soup as you'd like. I did about half of it. I don't suggest bothering to burn yourself on the broth, though..I tried it, and it really was a waste of time. It added nothing to the finished dish. ;)
Return processed portion back to pot and stir well.
Add half and half, cilantro and salt and pepper, as needed, and just heat through.
For Cornbread Croutons
Cut cooled cornbread into 1 inch pieces. You might loose a few to the above mentioned crumblies, but just get as many pieces as you can. :)
Set aside in large glass bowl. See Photo
Melt butter in glass bowl in microwave.
Add spices and stir well.
Pour over bread cubes and CAREFULLY toss to coat. See Photo
Bake on cookie sheet or baking stone at 400 for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown but still retaining some give. See Photo
Serve chowder topped with croutons and shredded cheese, if desired.
*to make this chowder vegetarian, sub veggie stock and omit the bacon and just add a dash of hickory liquid smoke.