Fresh shelling beans, or shellies, are such a treat and have a fairly small window of availability in late summer/early fall. They are the fully developed beans and most of the crop will be dried for future use but many farmers sell some of the beans in this fresh state. They don’t need soaking and cook in about 30 minutes or less. They have an exceptional subtle fragrance and creaminess. They are delicious in soups and stews or as a simple side dish, braised with a little garlic and tomato and maybe a bit of bacon.
Shelling beans keep for a week or so in paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator. Depending on how dry the pods are they may start getting brown spots after a few days. Be careful not to let them spoil. You can also shell them and freeze them for future use.
The most common shelling bean is probably the cranberry bean (pictured above). You may also encounter pinto beans in this form as well as borlotti beans.