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Welcoming Spring at Home in Paris

Glimpse inside tastemaker Terry de Gunzburg's Parisian abode—and try her recipe for lemon verbena-infused Pea, Zucchini, Lettuce, and Cucumber Soup—in an excerpt from BE MY GUEST by Pierre Sauvage and Olivia Roland (Flammarion, 2020)
Spring table setting at the Parisian home of TerryDeGunzburg, from the pages of Be My Guest: At Home with the Tastemakers by Pierre Sauvage, Flammarion, 2020
Miniature daffodils, muscari, and hyacinths echo the colors of the Bohemian crystal glasses and barbotine plates in the dining room of Terry de Gunzburg. All photography © Ambroise Tézenas from Be My Guest by Pierre Sauvage, Flammarion, 2020.

When at home, Terry de Gunzburg, founder of the French cosmetics company By Terry, enjoys gardening, cooking, entertaining, and collecting art, china, and linens. She is one of 20 tastemakers around the world whose knack for the art de vivre landed her in Pierre Sauvage’s book, Be My Guest: At Home with the Tastemakers (Flammarion, 2020). In the following excerpt from its pages, we peek inside Terry’s flower-filled Parisian home in the Auteuil neighborhood, featuring interiors by Jacques Grange. Her recipe for Pea, Zucchini, Lettuce, and Cucumber Soup makes lovely use of lemon verbena from the herb garden. Serve the soup with tea sandwiches for a light spring lunch.

Terry de Gunzburg picks lemons grown indoors in her citrus house. Beside her a small table, surrounded by caned chairs, holds a bowl of lemons.
The winter garden that Terry de Gunzburg has created on her covered terrace in the Auteuil neighborhood of Paris is a green “lung” where she particularly loves to grow citrus fruit.
A scene from the Parisian home of Terry De Gunzburg featuring a floor to ceiling leaded glass window, a brick floor laid in a herring bone pattern, two cozy love seats facing each other, and bright pink flower arrangements placed on the coffee table, and on pedestals flanking the window.
In this art nouveau setting, noble materials, warm and contrasting colors, and objets d’art full of character create a feeling of perfect harmony.
A table setting beside a blue and green tiled wall at the Parisian home of Terry de Gunzburg. Garden roses tinged bright pink fill a pair of colorful porcelain vessels bearing floral motifs. The setting also features artful glassware (pitcher, drinking glasses), china teacups, and a serving dish of pomegranate seeds, all carrying through the pink color scheme. Pale green napkins contrast with the pink and tie into the blue and green featured in the tile wall, artwork, and chair upholstery
While always creating a color palette that is balanced and harmonious, Terry never hesitates to add a splash of color, even in tiny details.

Pea, Zucchini, Lettuce, and Cucumber Soup

Serves 4

Terry is a foodie who loves nothing more than to snatch a moment to improvise mouthwatering dishes, perfumed and moistened with infusions of verbena or flavored with China tea in place of broth. Try the technique in your own kitchen with her recipe for Pea, Zucchini, Lettuce, and Cucumber Soup.

Terry De Gunzburg's recipe Pea, Zucchini, Lettuce, and Cucumber Soup served in a blue-and-white tureen, on a rustic wooden table by the kitchen stove. Also pictured: salad, grape tomatoes, green beans, small serving dishes of garnishes, and another soup.
Pea, Zucchini, Lettuce, and Cucumber Soup (center)

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch lemon verbena
  • 1 1/4 cups (9 oz./250 g) green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 lettuce heart or small sucrine lettuce*
  • A few carrot tops
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and deseeded

For the Garnish

  • 2 tsp thick crème fraîche
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Fresh goat cheese or ricotta (optional)
  • Unsweetened crème Chantilly (optional)

Method

  1. Boil the lemon verbena in water to make a very strong infusion, then remove the leaves.
  2. Use the infusion to blanch the peas, zucchini, lettuce heart, and carrot tops. Remove the vegetables and set the infusion aside.
  3. Place all the vegetables in the container of a blender or food processor, add the cucumber, and blend. Strain through a sieve to obtain a smooth, creamy consistency.
  4. Boil the infusion to reduce it, then add to the soup.
  5. Stir in the crème fraîche and garnish with the chopped cilantro leaves.
  6. If liked, serve with a mousse of fresh goat cheese or ricotta mixed with the unsweetened crème Chantilly.
*If you do not see lettuce labelled sucrine at your farmers market or grocery store, purchase Bibb, Boston, or Little Gem lettuce.
book cover for Be My Guest: At Home with the Tastemakers by Pierre Sauvage and Olivia Roland (Flammarion, 2020)

Recipe, captions, and photography excerpted from Be My Guest: At Home with the Tastemakers by Pierre Sauvage, Flammarion, 2020. Photograrphy © Ambroise Tézenas