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1. If using, chop fresh clams, reserving juice; set clams aside. Strain clam juice to remove bits of shell. (Or drain canned clams, reserving the juice.) If necessary, add enough water to the reserved clam juice to make 1-1/2 cups total liquid; set aside.
2. In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble bacon and set aside. Add onions and celery to bacon drippings; cook and stir over medium heat until tender.
3. Stir in wine; bring to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the reserved clam juice, potatoes, bouillon granules, thyme, black pepper, and crushed red pepper into Dutch oven. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. With the back of a fork, mash potatoes slightly against side of pan.
4. In a medium bowl stir together milk, whipping cream, and flour; add to potato mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook and stir until slightly thickened. Stir in clams and the 3/4 cup cheese. Reduce heat. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle each serving with crumbled bacon and, if desired, parsley and additional cheese.