2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cans (10 ounces each) whole baby clams, drained
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Cook and stir chopped fennel and onion in bacon drippings over medium heat until tender, 8-10 minutes. Add Chardonnay to pan; increase heat to medium-high. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.
Add 4-1/2 cups clam juice, pumpkin and potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until pumpkin and potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whisk flour and remaining 1/2 cup clam juice; stir into pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in clams, cream, tarragon, salt and pepper; heat through (do not boil). To serve, top soup with reserved chopped fennel fronds and cooked bacon.