Broad Beans are generally the first plant to produce a crop, making them one of the first new-season crops of the year.  Arguably they are not as tasty as peas or french beans, but they are very easy to grow and prolific, and they freeze well.  Broad beans are sweeter when small and in fact, you can eat the whole pod when they are 2-3cm.  Source:

Aideen’s Broad Beans were set 2 weeks ago and are growing well