pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
An overnight soak can't hurt. The little suckers are a pain in the butt to peel---especially the fresh ones.
Nancy is a food writer, historian, and author of many books, her most recent being Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin.
I've said it before, so often that it comes out automatically--there is no reason at all to peel fresh small fava beans and very few people who eat them regularly (outside of France) do so. The dried beans, if dried with their peel on, do have to be peeled as the peel creates a tough, almost leathery exterior when dry. But if they are small (I confess I've never heard of mini fava beans) and dried without the peel, which often happens, then you don't need to soak them and they will dissolve almost automatically into a puree--with a few vigorous stirs with a wooden spoon.
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