After a comment from Rick in his blog post I thought I'd take the quick challenge. So here's the quick and dirty way to get it...
adb root adb shell ubuntu_chroot shell apt-get install syncevolution su - phablet syncevolution --configure --sync-property "email@example.com" --sync-property "password=secret" Google_Contacts syncevolution --sync refresh-from-server Google_Contacts addressbook
If you have the phone app while doing this you can see the magic happen. Take into account that all contacts not on the server will be wiped (you can look at other options in syncevolution so that doesn't happen).
If you have too many contacts your people lens may explode! BEWARE None of these will be in your favorites, so the carousel will disappear.