in the guidelines published in our diocesan newsletter it says on days of abstinence no flesh meat may be eaten, that is defined as meat as flesch from mammals and fowl, but fish is alright. The definition of what constitutes flesh is local custom. However condiments made from animal products are acceptable including broth, gravy, butter, lard etc., soup or broth made from meat or fowl is acceptable as long as meat is not the “substantial” part of the soup, meaning small bits or shreds of meat would be acceptable if the majority of the soup was the liquid, other ingrediants, (vegetables, noodles etc.).
the bishop’s sermon I have heard on a couple of occassion focuses on the spirit, not the letter of the law and reminds us that this is about freely giving up something good for penance and for the good of our souls, and for awareness of the needs of those who must go without adequate food. If the mentality becomes “how much can I get away with” then the penitential aspect is lost, the deed is not done for love of Christ, and actually becomes spiritually harmful rather than helpful.